The winners of the 2019 pitch competition pose with their big checks and their expert judges at SNC Tahoe.
Luka Gobec and Vilde Johansen's FireFly won the 2019 Jim and Jan Stienmann Pitch Competition on February 28th.

Jim and Jan Steinmann Pitch Competition

9 business students competed for cash prizes totaling $850 on February 28 at the Jim and Jan Steinmann Pitch Competition. Students had 3 minutes to pitch their competition to the judges, followed by a 5 minute question period from the judges. Students have been working with faculty and community mentors since last fall to perfect their pitches, making sure they have a strategy, product development, marketing, financial, and the oral presentation.

The winners of the Jim and Jan Steinmann Pitch Competition are:
Students Luka Gobec and Vilde Johansen pitched an idea at the annual pitch competition hosted at SNC Tahoe.1st place – FireFly  – Luka Gobec and Vilde Johansen – $500 prize
FireFly is a B2G service model drone that drops C02 bombs on wildfires, taking away one of the fire’s 3 elements of life – oxygen. The drones work remotely, allowing firefighters to stay safe in dangerous conditions.“Knowledge sitting on the shelf does not mean anything. We are trying to enhance our business skills by challenging ourselves and by competing with ourselves, more so than with other students. You have to use the skill over and over again in order to master it. This is a perfect way to do that. With the experienced judges we had, there was no space for slacking or doing anything at 50%.” – Luka Gobec

Student Austin Thomas won second place in the annual pitch competition at SNC Tahoe2nd place – Wallbreaker – Austin Thomas – $250 prize
A co-working space with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and event hosting.“I’d been planning on participating in the pitch competition since I first heard about it last semester. I was also lucky to have Mr. Abravanel this semester, who pushed all of the students in the class to participate. Coming up with a solid idea was probably the hardest part. My idea started as a coffeeshop/taproom, evolved into a co-working space, then evolved again into a business event/co-working space service. Sometimes it took a lot out of me to keep pivoting mid-idea, but you’ve got to be willing to change things up along the way if you want to come up with something that will work.” – Austin Thomas

Zach Krahnke poses with his big check after winning third place in the annual pitch competition at SNC Tahoe.3rd place – Buber – Zach Krahnke – $100 prize
It’s Uber – for boats.
The other pitches include:

Business Card Innovation – Reilly Whittaker and Kacey Carolan

Community Brew – Phealan Robinson

Incline Wash and Detail – Owen Greene

Manufacturing Graphene – James Kohagan

North Lake Tahoe Music Series – Harris Bedford

Pentagon Properties – Tyler Rayman

The Judges

The judges were Jim Steinmann, of Steinmann Facility Development Consultants; Frank Spees, of Spees and Spees Estate and Financial Planning Attorneys; Jay Johnson, Visiting Lecturer at SNC and CEO of Imprimis Consulting; and Achille M. Bigliardi III who has invested in many ventures including Thrive Cafe.

The Process

The business plan competition series is put on annually by the business department at SNC Tahoe. The competition series is a cornerstone of our commitment to our students’ professional preparedness and entrepreneurial thinking.

In September, students pitch an idea to a panel of judges during the Innovative Idea Competition. With the feedback they receive, the work with mentors and faculty members to develop business proposition for the Pitch Competition.

In February, students present in the Pitch Competition. This fast pace presentation helps students prepare for the real world of business. Students compete for a combined $850 in prize money.

In April, those who participated in the Pitch Competition are then invited to the President’s Cup Business Plan Competition, where they must deliver an entire business plan to a panel of judges. Students who participate in the Jim and Jan Steinmann President’s Cup Business Plan Competition are eligible for up to a combined $6000 in prizes.

Are You Interested?

The business plan competition is open to any SNC student with an idea. Check your email for information throughout the year. If you have any questions please contact:

Jonathan Breiter, MBA
Program Chair, Entrepreneurship
775-831-1314 x7577

Justin Spees
Chair, Department of Business

Courtesy: Zoe Tuttle, Eagle’s Eye