Grove City College Entrepreneurs Showcase Ideas in Pitch Competition

GROVE CITY, Pa. – Student entrepreneurs at Grove City College took home a total of $6,100 for their businesses after the Elevator Pitch Competition hosted by the college’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Participants had two minutes to present ideas for their endeavor – they could compete in the commercial enterprise or social enterprise categories – to a panel of three judges.

“This year, we took the competition to another level. We had approximately 1,000 audience members from 33 different states join us for our virtual Final Round, all eager to see the students pitch their ideas and find out the winners,” said Logan Hammerschmitt, outreach coordinator for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, in a statement. “This level of attendance simply would not be possible with the traditional in-person event, making the virtual nature of this year’s competition all the more valuable.”

In addition to the usual prize money award, an anonymous donor matched winnings, doubling the amount students took home.

“The final round of the competition was a tremendous success, thanks to our amazing finalists and generous reviewers, judges, and sponsors,” said Yvonne English, executive director of the center. “We’re so appreciative for that donor’s generosity and are proud of all of our finalists.”

The two $1,000 top prize winners are Mark Wilhelm for New Sight, a safety system for the visually impaired, and Olivia Whiteman for G.I. Fido, an upcycled dog accessories company employing military veterans. Whiteman also won the $500 Grove City Foundation Community Impact prize.

Also placing in the commercial enterprise category were:

  • Second place, $800 – Shelton Brower for The Safer Headband, a safety device to reduce soccer-related concussions.
  • Third place, $600 – Erica Kolson for Kid’s Cultural Crate, a subscription box to educate kids on cultures around the world.
  • Fourth place, $400 – Adam Densmore for PresPros, an online speech coaching and training service.
  • Fifth place, $200 – Judy Anne Spira for Sani-T Bon, a secure place to hold personal items in public bathrooms.

Spira won an additional $200 as the winner of the Fan Favorite award.

In the social enterprise category, which offered the same amount of prize money, Wilhelm also took second place for Journey Art, a nonprofit mobile art station, while Grace Anne Shaw took third place for LifeBus, a mobile health-care service for rural communities.

For more information on the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, visit

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.