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Pirates Pitch Business Idea Competition April 11
Seton Hall > News & Events 

Pirates Pitch LogoPirates Pitch Finals: Five Student Teams To Compete for $10,000 in Prizes on April 11!

The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies will award $10,000 in prizes at Pirates Pitch, the 4th annual Seton Hall University Venture Fund Competition. The competition will be held on Friday April 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Jubilee Hall Auditorium. The public is invited to attend Seton Hall's own version of Shark Tank. May the best starup business ideas win!

"Our five Finalist student teams were selected from an original group of 30 applicants," said Susan Scherreik, Director of the Stillman School of Business’ Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. "They have worked diligently over the past several weeks to develop plans on how they will respectively launch an innovative startup business," she added. All the teams have done a terrific job and are very well prepared. It’s going to be an exciting event, she continued.

At the Finalists competition, the student teams will "pitch" their original business ideas to a prestigious panel of outside judges. The judges are: Bill Bartzak, President, CEO and founder of MD On-Line; Sal Cocco, Jr. , Financial Consultant, AXA Advisors, Shannon Morris, President, Sigma Group, Pravina Raghavan, Administrator of the Office of Investment and Innovation, U.S. Small Business Administration, and Steve Waldis, Chairman and CEO, Synchronoss Technologies and a member of the Seton Hall University Board of Regents.

The judges will select the two top student teams based on both the students’ presentations and written business plans. The judges will evaluate the business models on factors that include creativity, innovation, growth potential, and the venture’s ability to turn a profit. The winning team will receive $6,000 in prize money, and the runner-up team will receive $3,500. Both top winners will also receive business services to help them launch their ventures. Audience members will be asked to cast a vote via their cell phone for their favorite finalist team. The most popular team will receive a $500 Audience Choice Award.

The five student finalist teams are:

  • Mary Beliveau and David Kelly: Mazava Solar
  • Dominique Fortes and Kevin Belanger: Quick Fix Mirror
  • Qingyu (Vito) Lu: Video Game Console Café
  • Selene Presseller:
  • Michelle Tager and Ana Guliashvili: Lingual Books

The annual competition, which all SHU students can enter, kicked off in January when students wishing to participate submitted a two-page proposal for an original and innovative business startup idea. Next, the 10 best proposals were selected by a group of independent judges to enter the Semi-finalists round. In February, the 10 Semi-finalists pitched their idea to another panel of judges, who selected the five Finalist teams. Those teams have since prepared a 10 to 15 page written business plan and submitted their plans to the Finalist round judges. At the Finalist competition, the student teams will each make 10 minute presentations, followed by 10 minutes of questions from the judges.

You can find more information at the Pirates Pitch website or contact Director Scherreik at

For more information please contact:
Susan Scherreik
(973) 275-2251


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