College of Business > News & Events > Champions Crowned in Inaugural Driehaus Cup Business Pitch Competition

Champions Crowned in Inaugural Driehaus Cup Business Pitch Competition

​​A photo of students presenting at the Driehaus Cup pitch competition. The photo includes a large PowerPoint presentation in front of a room of people sitting at tables.
More than 300 students, faculty and staff attended this fall's inaugural Driehaus Cup business pitch competition, sponsored by Morningstar and the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center at DePaul.

Two teams of undergraduate business students have been named co-champions of the inaugural Driehaus Cup, the Driehaus College of Business’s new quarterly business pitch competition, which was held Nov. 16 at the DePaul Lincoln Park Campus Student Center.

The competition is the culminating project of the college’s new course, Business 101: Business Fundamentals and the Entrepreneurial Mindset, which was introduced this fall to educate students about business career paths and the power of entrepreneurial thinking.

The co-champions were:

  • Team NTWRK, represented by students Edgar Calderon, Adrian Isufi, Tara Vandergaw and Michael Zukhar, who pitched their idea for an instantaneous networking app that addresses the routine difficulties students experience when exchanging contact information with classmates assigned to group projects.
  • Team Smartflask, consisting of students Josh Oldham, Allison Crofoot, Oliver Sikora, Lila Johnson and Liz Hargrave, who pitched their product idea for a bottle that tracks water consumption connected to an app that tracks water intake.

The co-champions were among nine semifinalist teams that pitched their ideas for business products, services or solutions before a panel of judges and an audience of more than 300, who voted on the best pitch. Team NTWRK had been identified as the sole winner at the event, but the subsequent discovery of an error in tabulating votes resulted in NTWRK and Smartflask being recognized as co-champions. Each student on both teams will receive a $500 scholarship, the competition prize.

Seventy-two teams entered the first tier of the Driehaus Cup, which was held earlier this fall in all nine sections of Business 101, one of the signature courses of DePaul’s revised undergraduate core curriculum. The competition is sponsored by the financial services firm Morningstar and the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center at DePaul.

“The Driehaus Cup provides an opportunity for all of our Business 101 students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset,” says Sulin Ba, DePaul business dean​. “This is important for succeeding in any career, whether a student plans to start a business or wants to be an innovator within an established organization.”

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