Business and engineering students participate in Innovation Sprint

Nearly 100 students in the Pompea College of Business and Tagliatela College of Engineering participated in an entrepreneurship pitch competition on Sept. 12th. Brian Marks and Stephanie Gillespie — lecturers for both colleges, respectively — facilitated the virtual event also known as the “24-Hour Innovation Sprint.”

Across two days — Friday and Saturday — students were tasked to identify a problem, create a solution, illustrate the value-proposition and then determine how to bring that solution to market. They transformed their work into a 60-second presentation for several University of New Haven alumni to review and judge.

Before the students were able to begin these tasks, they first had to pick from a list of challenges that 10 Conn. entrepreneurs identified. The challenges varied, from finding a way to redesign personal recreation vehicles to meet CT’s safety requirements, to figuring out how to safely socially interact with loved ones in assisted living facilities.

The students worked late in the evening Friday, and early on Saturday with 32 mentors and judges to develop and produce their final product. Bill Mallin ’98 EMBA was a Saturday night feedback mentor. He worked with some of the groups to help improve their presentation style before they presented it to the judges.

“I found myself enjoying it,” said Mallin.

Joe Schechter ’98 EMBA worked as a Friday night-owl mentor and reviewed four groups’ 30-second problem-statement videos to critique for articulation and problem validation.

“They all understood what the challenge was for that night — to describe the problem, and I thought they did a really good job of that!” said Schechter.

On Wednesday night, the deans of the Pompea College of Business and Tagliatela College of Engineering participated in a virtual closing ceremony with some of the students, alumni, and faculty involved. During this event, four of the student groups were recognized for “Exemplary Performance in Subject Matter and Delivery.” You can view the list of winners below:

1st Place – Team 18: Anthony Trigueros, Ashley Fiorianti, Conor Patterson, Filipe Jorge

2nd Place – Team 6, Bazintranoitz & Co.: Gabriella Zint, Justin Caron, Nicholas Babich, Niko Dickervitz, Trent Coltran

3rd Place – Team 19, Hot-Headed Balloons: Janel Slade, Keron Barbour, Laela Butow, Olivia Travers, Owen Santos, Stephanie Munda

4th Place – Team 4, Street Legal Dirt Bikes: Aidan Halloran, Alexander Castromonte, Anna Ort, Eric Acuna