October 15, 2020

Georgia to Organize Virtual SEC Student Pitch Competition

Studio 225 (Home to the UGA Entrepreneurship Program) in Athens, Georgia.
Studio 225 (Home to the UGA Entrepreneurship Program) in Athens, Georgia.

By: SEC Staff
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. – The University of Georgia will organize the first-ever virtual SEC Student Pitch Competition on October 26, the SEC announced on Thursday. Members of the campus planning team include UGA’s Director of Entrepreneurship, Bob Pinckney; Jim Flannery, a UGA entrepreneurship lecturer; and Megan Henning, a program coordinator in the Terry College of Business.

Started in 2015, the SEC Student Pitch Competition provides teams of SEC students at the undergraduate or graduate level a platform to showcase their ideas for ground-breaking products and services to a panel of judges – including SEC alumni – who work primarily in the business sector.

“For several months, University of Georgia organizers have worked tirelessly with their SEC colleagues to pivot from an in-person competition to one that better reflects current realities for entrepreneurs,” said Dr. Torie A. Johnson, SEC Associate Commissioner for Academic Relations. “The COVID-19 pandemic has forced business owners around the world to engage with clients and investors through non-traditional means, and this year’s competition will help SEC students hone those increasingly important skills as they will be challenged to interact with judges and their business partners virtually.”

The SEC competition will comprise teams from each of the league’s 14 member universities, several of whom have already claimed a campus-level competition win. Similar to the in-person format, the virtual SEC competition will include two preliminary rounds of presentations, and judges will select three teams for the final round. New this year will be a public live stream.

“The SEC Student Pitch Competition has become a special, hands-on learning opportunity we provide to our students, and we are excited to expand upon the traditional format to one that takes advantage of the changing landscape of business,” Pinckney said. “We look forward to welcoming the teams, our fellow directors and the judges to Athens in an innovative way.”

Examples of past ideas presented during the SEC competition include a platform of products that improve minimally invasive surgeries (University of Arkansas), user-hosted storage rentals (University of Missouri) and a smart lock designed to revolutionize safety and reduce liability for hotels and apartments (University of Tennessee).

The SEC Student Pitch Competition was first held in conjunction with the SEC Symposium in 2015 and Texas A&M University took home first place. Other competition winners include the University of Arkansas in 2017 and 2018 and Mississippi State University in 2019.

Details on this year’s competing teams will be announced at a later date.