Two student business teams earn seed money at AG-60

Posted: March 29, 2013

How do you describe your business vision in 60 seconds or less? Student business teams did just that to earn seed money at AG-60, 2013.

Students interested in entrepreneurship had many opportunities to learn what it’s all about and what it takes during PSU’s Start-up Week, hosted by the College of Information Sciences and Technology March 18 – 23.

The CAS Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program hosted the annual AG-60 Elevator Pitch Event and a panel talk on entrepreneurship with alumni and successful entrepreneurs Rick Grazzini, Bob Morgan and Paul Silvis. 

Two student business teams delivered 60-second video pitches during a pizza lunch on Tuesday, March 19, for practice pitching their business concepts in a short period of time.

One student team working on a concept to develop a food blog combined with a food delivery service won seed money toward participation in a Hack-a-thon, a 24-hour business-building event in Washington, D.C., April 6-7.

Kayln Gibilterra, a computer science major, pitched the concept. Emma Biedler, a nutrition major, Michael Shafer, a chemical engineering major and two computer science students formed a team around the business concept.

A second team is working on a concept to develop and market a unique plant sensor to determine plant moisture. Amin Afzal, a graduate student in the agronomy program, and Maryam Shahri, who is about to graduate with her MBA from the Smeal College of Business, are working together on the concept.

Afzal made the pitch, helping to earn the team seed money toward commercializing the idea.

“AG-60 helps students refine and develop their thinking around their business concept,” says Mark Gagnon, Harbaugh Entrepreneurship Scholar & Coordinator of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

“Succinctly and effectively communicating their concept is essential. Students who develop these concise communications skills will be better able to capitalize on the opportunity of a chance encounter,” says Gagnon.