Forty two startup hopefuls hypothetically had the opportunity to deliver a sales pitch for 60 seconds to the world’s greatest investor, Warren Buffett. This took place at Rice’s Business Plan Competition. Here are some of our favorite pitches.
The MBA business plan competition has a time-honored tradition. It’s known as the elevator pitch contest. Oddly enough, this competition is actually held in a moving elevator at Wake Forest University.
At Rice University, they have their own specific style when it comes to the Business Plan Competition. Here’s the premise: you step onto an elevator with billionaire investor Warren Buffett. While on the elevator, you get to travel 33 floors (the equivalent of 60 seconds) all the while trying to convince him to invest in your future startup.
At Rice in 2013, 42 teams took the challenge. They delivered their hypothetical 60 second speech to a standing room only crowd in the Houston business school’s 460 seat auditorium. This coming Saturday, the judges are going to hand out awards. The winner of the Business Plan Competition will earn $1000. Let’s now look at some of the participants we feel were the best:
The Best Impression of MacGyver
“What if I told you I can save 1 million lives every year with just refrigerator magnets and a laser pointer?” – Case Western Reserve University’s Disease Diagnostic Group
This team intends to use the malaria parasite’s magnetic charge as a way to develop a cheaper, newer method of detecting this disease in developing nations.
“As a future physician, I’m excited to share how BriteSeed can save tens of thousands of lives and billions in wasteful spending.” BriteSeed of Northwestern University.
They delivered their pitch while wearing scrubs. They have developed a new technology called SafeSnips. This technology is capable of alerting a surgeon when performing robotic procedures. It will let them know if they are about to cut a blood vessel that’s at risk of bleeding uncontrollably.
Biggest Potential Moneymaker and Morning Commute Wrecker
“1.6 billion people ride the New York subway every year and virtually all of them are cut off from cell phone coverage, costing millions per week to advertisers and service providers.” – University of Southern California’s EnKinta Energy.
In an effort to bring cell phone service and Wi-Fi to subway riders, this team would like to use the subway’s kinetic energy as a way to generate power. The morning subway commute will certainly become more profitable, but it’s probably going to be a lot louder as well.
Scariest Elevator Pitch
“Ladies and gentlemen, passwords can’t protect us anymore.” Technical University Kosice, Slovakia and Harvard’s Excalibur.
The technology proposed by this team looks to effectively convert your cell phone into a secure ID. They estimate that it would take about $160 to hack a Gmail account, $500 to hack a corporate mailbox and roughly $130 to hack a Twitter or Facebook account.
“Forget the lows, it’s time to get high.” University of Manchester, England’s Kaffeination.
At the time of this writing, this team has already sold over 5000 bags of gummy bears infused with caffeine to United Kingdom students looking for a quick pick me up. This is a great effort to take advantage of the incredible flourishing energy drink marketplace.