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Citadel to host global pitch competition Friday

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The Citadel will host a global business pitch competition on Friday. The Network Globally Act Locally competition allows students to come up with business ideas and aims to help fine-tune their business pitches.

The competition is the culmination of a three-week business development program. The students traveled to Estonia for the first phase of the program; they have been preparing at the College of Charleston since Monday.

The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday in the Wells Fargo Lecture Hall in Bond Hall; the competition is free to attend. 

Last year, Stacie Skaff and Gwen Plouzek of England won by creating SipSafe, a stir stick that test drinks for date rape drugs. Second-place winners Joonas Poder and Karl-Sander Erss of Estonia created Konku, a commission-free property rental platform.

Third-place winner Jared Carlson of Nebraska created Patch Financial, a tool for businesses to provide employees with loans instead of having to rely on payday lenders. Carlson said that 11 companies have signed on to the beta test of his product.

This year’s event will consist of nine teams of two members and one team of one. Students are given four minutes to pitch their ideas. Citadel students Ryan Burton, James Kazda, Colin Jones and Olga Gorkovenko, finalists in the school’s Bulldog Business Bowl pitch contest, will be participating. Several College of Charleston students will be competing as well.

Some of the ideas to be pitched this year include a power storage solution for small renewable energy plants, a customizable modular USB-C adapter, a monitoring safety device aimed to prevent heatstroke in cars, and multiple apps.

The competition is sponsored by the Harry and Reba Huge Foundation, a Charleston-based nonprofit that provides scholarships and opportunities to students. The foundation partners with five other universities, including the University of Tartu and Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia, the College of Charleston, Nebraska Wesleyan University and The Citadel for the pitch contest. This is the first year The Citadel is participating.

“The Citadel brings a vital dimension to our five-university partnership, with its strong focus on preparing students to become principled leaders in their professions, their communities, their country, and the world,” said Harry Huge, co-founder of the foundation.

Reach Carlos Monkus at 843-849-3125.

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