Students at Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) pitched their business ideas in the form of 2-minute elevator pitches for the chance to win a cash grand prize of $500. The BPCC 2-Minute Drill, presented by BRF’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP), BPCC, and the Air Force Reserve’s 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, was held as part of the Air Show Innovation Showcase event on Tuesday, May 14.
“It has been great to watch these students and see the innovative ideas they’ve come up with. You can see they have put a lot of work into this,“ said Colonel Courtney A. Hamilton, Vice Commander of the 307th Bomb Wing. “It’s always interesting to see new innovation, as we need new and interesting ideas to continue into the future, and I think these guys have a great start with that.”
The winner of the inaugural BPCC 2-Minute Drill was Dakota Ferry (Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Technology and Network Security), who pitched a clean water filtration/collection and power generation plan, which is patent pending.
“I’ve been working on this idea for a few years, however, this was the first time I was able to pitch it,” said Ferry. “The BPCC 2-Minute Drill gave me the opportunity to pitch my idea and also to form connections with colleagues who I’ll be able to begin working with moving forward.”
Second place was awarded to BPCC students Panharith Bell and Juan Flores. Third place was awarded to BPCC student Paul Vu. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges (Barksdale Air Force Base officials, as well as BPCC and EAP staff) who were looking for these five topics to be covered: introduction; problem; solution; target customer; why their idea/solution is better than existing alternatives; and source of revenue. All winners are from the Division of Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Second and third place winners were awarded BPCC bookstore gift cards of $250 and $150 for their achievements.
“This event was a great way to get our students face-to-face with industry professionals. These participants truly embody the entrepreneurial spirit here at BPCC,” said Dr. Jennifer Lawrence, BPCC Director, Institutional Advancement & Grants. “We are proud of our students for taking part in this event, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with EAP so more students will be able to showcase their ideas for future business opportunities.”
In the past two years, EAP has launched its Grand Prix university business plan competitions at the following institutions: LSU Shreveport, Northwestern State University, Grambling State University and Centenary College. The addition of the BPCC 2-Minute Drill is another push toward promoting innovation in North Louisiana through a wide range of university partnerships focused on helping young entrepreneurs succeed.
EAP, an initiative of BRF, is a public/private partnership between BRF, the Caddo Parish Commission and the City of Shreveport to diversify the regional economy, create jobs and expand the area’s tax base by providing services to innovative startups that have high growth potential. Since EAP began in July 2014, the program has screened more than 780 startups, provided services to more than 240 companies and helped Northwest Louisiana-based startups raise more than $74 million in investment. For more information, visit www.eapla.com.