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High school student receivers of the 2018 Pirates Pitch prize

Past Winners

Pirates Pitch 2019

Students were awarded varying amounts of venture capital seed funding by the investor judges to reflect the entrepreneurial fund-raising process.

Alissa Lopez, MBA student, received $9,000 for Sincere Sitter.

College of Nursing freshmen Allison Lamoureux, Katie Mazzarelli and Annemarie Ryan recived $3,500 for Care Call.

Stillman School of Business Seniors Peyton Elder and Olivia Finane were awarded $2,000 for Flock.

Stillman Juniors Steven Catadul and Elizabeth Win and Senior Nathanael Boatswain received $1,500 for Sprouts Analytics.

Pirates Pitch 2018

First Place: Madison Schott (senior, Mathematical Finance/Marketing) won the $7,000 first-place award for Trenditure, an app that makes book recommendations based on current events and trending news.

Second Place & Audience Choice Award: Seniors Nasima Nagim (Accounting/Finance) and Walla Elshekh (Political Science) won both the $4,500 second-place award and the $500 Audience Choice Award for Tahira, a start-up that provides business attire for women who dress modestly.

Third Place: Third-place honors and a prize of $3,000 went to senior Patrick Burd (Marketing/Management), who pitched Classic Soccer Cleats, an online vendor of classic-style soccer cleats.

Pirates Pitch 2017

First Place: David Webster—Divvi, an idea for a cross-platform social messaging app to enhance coordination of groups and teams.

Second Place: Anthony Laverde—RePhone LLC, a cell phone screen repair startup.

Audience Choice Award: TJ Merighi and Ian Campbell —CampusGo, a bike rental service for expansive college campuses.

Pirates Pitch 2016

First Place & Audience Choice Award:  Christian Zeron — Theo & Harris, an online seller of men's vintage watches.

Second Place: Shaaliyah Lyons  — Together We Conquer, a summer basketball camp for inner-city high school students that also focuses on developing academic skills.

Pirates Pitch 2015

First Place: Ryan Skolnick for his business idea Aveho, a video game format for students in K-12 to learn Chinese and other foreign languages.

Second Place: The team of Mike Gavela, Brian Wreckler and Johnil Quezada for their business idea Cthroo, a discovery engine based on the ethical collection of personal data.

Audience Choice Award: The team of Aziz Syed and Brent Ciccarino for their business idea Service Station, a mobile and website application to help consumers find reliable contractors for home remodeling projects.

Pirates Pitch 2014

First Place (Tie): Mary Beliveau and David Kelly, seniors in the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, were recognized for their plan for Mazava Solar, a solar-powered mobile phone charger specifically designed for use in developing countries.  Stillman freshman Qingyu (Vito) Lu was selected for his plan to open a Video Game Console Café in his hometown in Nanjing, China.  Both teams will receive a monetary award of $4,750 and business services to assist in launching their companies.

Audience Choice Award: Mazava Solar (described above) and, a web-based resource for equestrians pitched by Stillman sophomore Selene Presseller.

Pirates Pitch 2013

First Place: Carl Banks Jr., a senior studying graphic design in the College of Arts & Sciences, won the first place prize for Audiotecha, an online music data search engine.

Second Place: Taseen Peterson, a junior in the Stillman School of Business, won the second prize for TapFactory, LLC, an actual business he started with his brother and another associate, that creates and sells apps through the App Store, including StickyNotes, a reminder app that has over 4 million downloads.

Pirates Pitch 2012

First Place: Megan Kelly & Ana Martinez, seniors studying public relations and journalism in the College of Arts & Sciences, won the first place award for PR Express, a web-based business that seeks to make public relations and social media services more accessible to small businesses. The third member of the PR Express team is Adriana Gini, a student at Union County College.

Second Place:  Margaret Reilly, a senior in the Stillman School of Business who entered the contest solo, won the  second place award for Complementary Connections, an innovative marketing agency that fosters partnerships among products to raise brand recognition with consumers.

Pirates Pitch 2011

First Place: Luciana Contuzzi, a freshman in the Stillman School of Business who entered the contest solo, won the $3,500 first place award for The See-Stick, an inexpensive device that would allow hospitals to more efficiently evaluate and treat patient wounds.

Second Place: Eric Casperson & Andrew Gilberti, seniors in the Stillman School, won the $1,500 second place award for X-Act Sports, a smart phone application that would allow users to more easily track favorite sports teams.

Third Place: $100 "Honorable Mention" award went to the team of Allen Ratz, a senior in the Stillman School, and Caitlin Papa, a senior in the College of Education and Human Services, for A.C.E. Efforts, a proposal to create a hydroponic farm that would employ autistic young adults in partnership with the Alpine Learning Group, a private non-profit school for autistic students in Paramus, N.J.