Aubrey Malanowski attends 2007 CEO Club Annual National Conference.
How many times have you needed to pitch an idea or product at the snap of your fingers? It happens in everyday life all the time: in the classroom, at work, and even at home. It’s a pressure situation that has your mind racing as you get your thoughts in order. Yet, you have to remain calm…and convincing. Making a pitch that sticks is a combination of communication skills, confidence, and persuasion. For many business people and entrepreneurs, it’s the mark of a consummate salesperson.
Bay Path student Aubrey Malanowski ’08, excels at making the “perfect pitch.” A business major with an unquenchable entrepreneurial spirit, Aubrey has participated in Elevator Pitch Competitions at both regional and national levels where she has won recognition for her talents for convincing people that her ideas are not only creative—they are practical as well! In the growing academic area of entrepreneurial studies, Elevator Pitch Competitions have taken center stage. The typical college Elevator Pitch Competition consists of a 90 second speech (theoretically, the time you would have in an elevator to pitch your idea!) before a panel of judges, and it is scored on both content and presentation skills. These competitions have been hugely successful and popular, attracting not only business students, but also students intrigued with the possibility of taking one of their ideas and making it reality.
Aubrey first competed at the Western Massachusetts-based Grinspoon Foundation’s 2007 Entrepreneurship Initiatives Awards. As part of the event, there was an “elevator pitch” Business Concept Competition with representatives from 12 local colleges—Aubrey was selected as Bay Path’s entry. Her idea was simple, practical, and marketable: Med-Link, a USB-like device containing the patient’s most up-to-date medical info that could streamline the patient check-in process and record keeping. Her first-place winning pitch earned her a $1,000 award from the Grinspoon Foundation.
A founding member of the College’s CEO (Collegiate Entrepreneur’s Organization) Club, Aubrey took her pitch on the road to the 2007 CEO Club Annual National Conference in Chicago. With funds raised from her family and local businesses, Aubrey went to the Conference and participated in the Annual Elevator Pitch Competition. Aubrey was one of only 120 contestants selected nationwide to present in Chicago. Practicing for hours in front of family, friends and faculty, Aubrey worked on developing a pitch that had a natural rhythm and flow. The competition was intense and all the participants were on top of their game. After three rounds, Aubrey found herself as one of the final six contestants. With over 1,000 people in attendance in the main ballroom, Aubrey learned she had placed fifth and earned a prize of $500.00. She was thrilled with her achievement.
“This whole experience has just confirmed what I want to do in the future…continue my entrepreneurial studies and start my own business. It’s also a tremendous confidence booster and I can see the power ideas have in the business process,” states Aubrey.
And it all started with the perfect pitch.