Contact: Candice Conti

Cal Poly Entrepreneurship Forum to Include Elevator Pitch Finals, Expert Panel on Nov. 3 

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Ten finalists will compete in the sixth annual Elevator Pitch Competition, and a panel of entrepreneurial experts will speak at the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurships (CIE) first forum of the academic year from 4:30 to 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, in the Performing Arts Center Pavilion.

From 5 to 6 p.m., the Elevator Pitch Competition finalists will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and attendees. The winner takes home $1,000 and has the opportunity to compete in the National Elevator Pitch Competition, to be held in Orlando next year.

The finalists were selected from hundreds of Cal Poly applicants — undergraduate and graduate-level students from the university’s six colleges. 

After the pitch finals and a short networking break, an interactive panel discussion will take place with experienced and young entrepreneurs. Panelists include: Cal Poly alumna Quincy Freeman, owner of Rodeo Quincy and former National Elevator Pitch Competition winner; Thomas Katona, assistant professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at Cal Poly; and Robert Zabaronick, co-chair, SLO Seeds and winner of the 2015 TechPitch competition.

Attendees will be able to submit questions via Twitter for the panel to discuss. Professor Jonathan York, faculty director of CIE, will moderate the panel; discussion will focus on the art of crafting an effective and memorable pitch.

“For many entrepreneurs,” York said, “the difference between funding and failure often comes down to the pitch: Can you sell me your company in 90 seconds?”

CIE forums are designed to unite the Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo entrepreneurial communities. Guests can network with local and national innovators, meet student entrepreneurs, and learn more about CIE resources and services.

Attendees can support entrepreneurship and innovation at Cal Poly by becoming Pioneer Pass Holders with a pledge of $100. The annual Pioneer Pass gives holders expedited registration and access to special industry events.

The Nov. 3 event is free and open to the public; advance registration is required. For more information and to register, go to

About the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

CIE opens a world of entrepreneurial opportunity to Cal Poly students and faculty members and promotes entrepreneurial activity, scholarship and dialogue across the university and throughout San Luis Obispo County.

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