Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) awarded student business owner Peter Papanicolaou $25,000 in funds for his business, Unity Electric, during the annual Business Pitch Competition held April 25.
The other seven finalists received amounts between $1,000 and $20,000 for their businesses.
“It is an honor to celebrate ESI's 20th anniversary,” said Stephanie Goldenberg, entrepreneurial studies institute academic chair and associate professor. “I have seen our students start businesses, continue their education and entrepreneurial journeys, and return to AACC as coaches, judges and mentors. We have built an entrepreneurial community where our students and alumni connect and support one another.”
The competition is run similar to the network show “Shark Tank,” as people with an idea for a new business or product pitch their business concept to a group of business and investment judges.
The finalists gave a two-minute live pitch and addressed questions from a panel of judges during the event. They also provided a business plan and financial projections in their application.
Judges included two local business leaders, a representative from SCORE and a representative from the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation. The Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation provided funds to make the competition possible.
“The Ratcliffe Foundation has been honored to support the AACC Business Pitch Competition for the past 20 years,” said Tina Davenport, board member of The Ratcliffe Foundation and judge for the competition. “Judging the competition is exciting, interesting and challenging. The competitors are always well-prepared and enthusiastic. I look forward to the competition every year.”
The Business Pitch Competition is open to all students enrolled at AACC or who completed a credit or noncredit class between July 1, 2022, and April 1, 2023. The team can be a single person or multiple people as long as at least 50% of the team are AACC students.
For information about AACC’s Entrepreneurial Studies Institute, visit www.aacc.edu/about/schools-of-study/business-and-law/entrepreneurial-studies-institute or contact Stephanie Goldenberg, entrepreneurial studies academic chair and assistant professor, at 410-777-1265.