Nestor Delgado, a third-year student at the University of Mississippi School of Law, took first place in the sixth annual Landshark Tank Competition, which was, for the first time, held virtually, on Friday (Oct. 30).
The competition is sponsored by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Ole Miss.
Delgado, a Pascagoula native, is a licensed drone pilot who hopes to specialize in air and space law upon graduation. His company, ROTR Drone Solutions, aids businesses that wish to integrate existing drone technology into their day-to-day operations.
“During my time at the University of Mississippi School of Law, I have been exposed to the world of unmanned aircraft technology through my studies with the Center for Air and Space Law,” Delgado said. “As a result of my legal studies, ROTR Drone Solutions was created as a solution to an existing gap that I identified in the drone industry.
“I am extremely grateful to the Ole Miss CIE for providing platforms for me to share the idea of ROTR with others. Both the Landshark Tank Competition and the Business Model Competition were run in such a professional manner and they were incredibly rewarding experiences.”
The competition often serves as a precursor platform for more advanced competitions such as the Mid-South Business Model Competition and the Gillespie Business Plan Competition, the center’s marquee competition in April.
“This year, an alumnus suggested that we take advantage of the adversity with the pandemic to make it a truly open event,” said Rich Gentry, co-director of the CIE and associate professor of management. “We advertised for entries from across campus and made a very easy competition for students to develop their presentation skills.”
Since August 2014, the CIE has assisted roughly 60 student-led startup businesses, and four of the past five winners of the Gillespie Business Plan Competition are still thriving.
“The Landshark Tank Pitch competition is an elevator pitch competition, where any Ole Miss student can pitch their business idea in one minute,” said Tong Meng, CIE director of programs. “This year the LST pitch took a virtual format, and we asked students to enter with their one-minute video pitches.
“We posted the top five pitches on social media and received almost 1,000 votes in just two days.”
Other final participants in the competition were Anne Kendall Outland, a senior from Birmingham, Alabama, majoring in elementary education; Brea Givens, a senior from Austin, Texas, majoring in managerial finance; Jordan Wyton, a senior from Grayson, Georgia, majoring in multidisciplinary studies; and Julia Zidek, a senior from Avon, Ohio, majoring in business management.
By Stella Connell