Imagine selling an idea to a potential investor within the time it takes to ride in an elevator.
In 90 seconds, Cassie Meyer made an appeal so convincing she won first place in the Student Elevator Pitch Competition in Florida.
Meyer, an entrepreneurship major at Bradley, was invited to the contest in Florida after placing third in the CEO National E-Pitch Competition in Chicago. Bradley University is the academic home of CEO: The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization.
Besides the size, the main difference Meyer noted between the two competitions was their judging styles. In Florida, the judges asked questions.
Since Meyer gave her speech on the second day, she was able to hear the questions and critiques of the judges about the other contestants’ presentations.
“Honestly, they were being pretty brutal,” Meyer said. “They were asking some really hard questions. That made me even more nervous. But then when I did my pitch, when it was time for the judges to ask questions, they were basically just all speechless.”
In her speech, Meyer talked about her company’s idea for designer hunting apparel, the market need for her product, identified her competitors and explained how she would outsell them. Before she left, she gave the judges her business card and a drink cozy with her company’s name on it.
“It’s important to leave people with a take-away, so they remember you and they know how to reach you,” Meyer said.
When the judging was complete, they announced that Meyer had won first place.
“I was actually really excited and kind of surprised because there was a lot of good competition so I really wasn’t sure I would win.”
But Meyer saw her elevator pitch in Florida as much more than a contest; it was an opportunity to open doors for her business with possible investors.
“I wanted to get Bradley’s name out there and also to get my business name out there in a whole different region of the nation,” Meyer said.
Meyer’s business is as real as the competition. Her company designs and sells modern, fitted hunting apparel and accessories for women.
Meyer is very thankful that the Foster College of Business Administration funded her participation in the contest.
“The most rewarding thing was to see the excitement people have about my company and having people come up and tell me afterwards that they love the idea and that they think it’s going to be big.”