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Innovation Boot Camp Boasts Largest Turnout To-Date


The Ole Miss Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship hosted their annual Innovation Boot Camp on Friday, drawing their largest amount of pitches to date.

A reported 20 students and six faculty attended the event which included Advisor to the CIE, Owens Alexander, teaching the group how to do a proper elevator pitch. Attendees were also treated to a speed-dating-like exercise that allowed them to practice their business pitches and receive feedback from a variety of sources. Students also participated in brainstorming small groups to focus on approaching opportunities and marketplace problems that they can find a solution.

The pitch competition saw 12 pitches that were then voted upon by the audience in a text-voting format. The first place winner and recipient of a $300 prize was Mac William whose energetic and interesting styled pitch was a hit with the crowd. Second place went to Will Pipes with Andrew Wilkes coming in third. The competition’s name, Land Shark Tank, is a twist on the hit ABC show Shark Tank that caters to entrepreneurs seeking to gain investments in their businesses.

“Land Shark Tank is a great opportunity for students to practice pitching in a really low-stress environment,” said Dr. Rich Gentry, Director of the CIE. “We want everyones who graduates from Ole Miss to be comfortable with themselves in front of a group.”

Gentry said that no matter how many times you have spoken in front of a group, there is always room to improve.

“School is the best place to (work on speaking to a group), and it can be learned,” he said. “Some people are better than others their first time in front of an audience but everyone can be better.”

For more information on the CIE or upcoming events, visit their website.

Michael Quirk is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at michael.quirk@hottytoddy.com.

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