Natchitoches, LA – Northwestern State University (NSU) and BRF’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP), which specializes in stimulating entrepreneurship opportunities in Northwest Louisiana, have partnered to bring the Inferno Pitch competition to the NSU campus. The competition is designed to support student innovation and will conclude at the Inferno Pitch event, which will take place on November 13, 2018 at 3:00 pm in Russell Hall, Room 107. This event is free and open to the public.
“One of EAP’s objectives is to foster entrepreneurial education at the university level,” said Dave Smith, Executive Director of EAP. “We think the best way to grow an entrepreneurial-minded ecosystem is to expose students to an environment that celebrates their innovation. Through EAP’s Grand Prix college business plan competitions, we are guiding students and young entrepreneurs in growing their businesses, taking them from concept to reality.”
The Inferno Pitch, one of three university business plan competitions that make up the Grand Prix program, is open to all NSU College of Business and Technology – School of Business students. Forty students or teams with a business idea submitted an application. Students participated in a workshop with EAP team members and other advisors who provided the student competitors with expertise, mentorship and key connections needed to fuel their success.
The top five participants, individuals or teams, have been selected and will pitch in the final event to a panel of judges comprised of business professionals from the Northwest Louisiana region. The top five are: (1) Alba Maloff Johnson and Matthew Broekman, (2) Brooke Smith, Kamamalu Nishihira-Asuncion, Kennedy Cullen, and Kortney Greer, (3) Michael Phelps and Victoria Miller, (4) Hayden Robertson, and (5) Joshua Johnson. The winner will receive a cash prize, scholarships to the Louisiana Startup Prize 2019 and the Patent Academy, plus professional services from EAP.
“This competition is a real motivator for students who think they may have a good idea but just don’t know how to take it to the next level,” said Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, Dean of the College of Business & Technology. “We give them the mentoring and confidence to push forward and dream big.”
The Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program, an initiative of BRF, is a public/private partnership between BRF, the Caddo Parish Commission and the City of Shreveport to diversify the regional economy, create jobs and expand the area’s tax base by providing services to innovative startups that have high growth potential.
Since EAP began in July 2014, the program has screened more than 690 startups and provided services to more than 220 companies.