UNI student wins National Elevator Pitch Competition

A University of Northern Iowa senior won third place at the elevator pitch competition held at the National CEO (Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization) Conference Nov. 6-8 in Chicago. Tyson Hanish, a marketing major from New York, N.Y., received a $1500 cash prize.

The competition was sponsored by The Coleman Foundation and The John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation. Sixty contestants "pitched" their opportunities in 90-seconds and 120-seconds to panels of judges in three rounds of competition. The final round of six contestants was narrowed to the top three prize winners.

Hanish pitched his business, BigLeagueAnalysis.com, which is housed in the UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center's Student Business Incubator. The business provides baseball hitting analysis from videos uploaded to its website by young baseball players. The website is finishing development and will launch soon at www.BigLeagueAnalysis.com. Hanish developed the business based on his nearly two years' experience as a player in the New York Yankees organization.

Hanish, who was the UNI elevator pitch competition winner, worked with JPEC to prepare for the competition, said the competition process was challenging and rewarding.

"It was a pleasure and a great experience competing against so many creative, motivating and inspiring people." he said. "I am thankful for the opportunity to compete and take third place among such a great collection of future business leaders."

According to Laurie Watje, UNI JPEC program associate, Hanish worked hard to refine his pitch.

"Tyson was well prepared for the UNI elevator pitch competition and he continued to refine his pitch with guidance from our Center," Watje said. "The students from schools that had held a school competition fared well in the national competition. Tyson's business based on baseball and wearing his New York Yankees jacket added to his appeal and credibility during the elevator pitch competition."

Katherine Cota-Uyar, UNI JPEC program manager, said, "We are looking forward to increasing UNI's participation in next year's competition. We have a lot of great students at UNI doing some very exciting things with their small businesses."