College of Business > News & Events > DePaul Hosts Three Midwest Universities for Startup Competition
By Andrew Zamorski | Photo by Kathy Hillegonds /
August 8, 2018 /
Posted in: College and Schools /
DePaul University’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center hosted a Final Four Business Pitch competition at 1871, Chicago’s tech business incubator, to explore the best startups emerging from Midwest universities. Participating in the July 31 competition were student and alumni teams from DePaul along with Michigan State University, Purdue University and the University of Illinois System's Discovery Partners Institute. The competition attracted one of the largest crowds to attend an event in 1871’s auditorium.
Each university selected five teams to create displays about their startups and talk with attendees about their business ideas. Attendees—which included faculty, staff, students and alumni from the four schools plus local entrepreneurs—voted for one top team from each university to set up the Final Four showdown. These four teams competed in live, five-minute pitch sessions and answered questions from a panel of judges. The four finalists split the event’s $8,000 prize.
“This event is one of many that our Coleman Entrepreneurship Center hosts each year to provide opportunities for students to pitch their new venture ideas and engage with other entrepreneurs,” says Driehaus College of Business Dean Misty Johanson, a Michigan State alumna. “It’s part of DePaul’s rich history of entrepreneurship education, hands-on learning and industry engagement.”
DePaul’s Final Four entry was the Greenwood Project. Bevon Joseph, who is earning a master's degree in entrepreneurship at DePaul, is the founder and president of this non-profit organization that introduces academically talented youth from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods to careers in the financial industry, using paid summer internships as an entryway.
The other DePaul student and alumni team entries were:
View a photo gallery to find out more, including which startup competed for the top prize.
The first DePaul-sponsored Final Four Business Pitch Competition was held July 31 at 1871, Chicago's business incubator.
Meghan Conwell wants to equalize the playing field in the music industry with her startup, Damned Damsels.
Esteban Perez is a regular pitch competitor at Coleman Entrepreneurship Center and 1871 events, incuding Purpose Pitch 2018 and Campus 1871, for which he had a winning entry.
Mike Schulz displays his sketches from Neon Jungle, which aims to be a multimedia anthology consisting of animation, books, games and more.
Digital Springboard is looking for investors to pilot their micro-targeting influencer platform.
Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871, welcomes the audience by tweeting on stage about how this was the most amount of people she had seen in the 1871 auditorium.
DePaul Business Dean Misty Johanson thanked the four universities’ students, faculty mentors and alumni for turning out to make the event a success.
The judges included alumni entrepreneurs from each university and the vice president of the corporate innovation team at 1871.
Bevon Joseph and his Greenwood Project received the most votes to become DePaul’s entry into the Pitch Competition
Michigan State took home top honors at the first Final Four Business Pitch competition hosted by DePaul. Student Seth Killian pitched Lingco Language Labs, a platform to help students learn foreign languages at their own pace.
Learn more about DePaul’s entrepreneurship programs: