UNI JPEC student wins Regional Elevator Pitch Competition

UNI JPEC student wins Regional Elevator Pitch Competition


A UNI senior, who is a member of the JPEC program, won first place at the regional elevator pitch competition held at UNI and advanced onto the National Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization (CEO) Conference’s pitch competition from October 26-28 in Tampa, Florida. Kayla Kearns, a communications major from Clear Lake, Iowa, competed for $3,500 at the national competition.

This was Kearns’ second time, representing the UNI JPEC at the National CEO competition. The contestants “pitched” their opportunities in 90-seconds and 120-seconds to panels of judges in three rounds of competition. The final round of six contestants was narrowed to the top three prize winners.

The UNI JPEC, with the help of UNIEntrepreneurs and Pi Sigma Epsilon, a sales and marketing fraternity, prepared Kearns for her 90-second pitch through sales competitions and workshops. JPEC advisors Laurie Watje, Katherine Cota, and Bart Schmitz critiqued Kearns’ pitch many times, tweaking and making adjustments to propel her pitch even further. Kearns shared, "I practiced my pitch two to three hours every day for three weeks leading up to the national competition.”

Kearns pitched her business, Cool Aluminum Products which is housed in the UNI JPEC’s R. J. McElroy Student Business Incubator. The business provides consumers with a clip for a pool cue that shines a laser beam on the ball that the cue ball is lined up to hit. This innovative tool allows consumers to improve their pool skills by visually seeing where the cue ball will go. Encouraging students of all majors to pitch at next year’s competition, Kearns said, “Be confident and give it your all because you never know what’ll happen.”