ST. PETERSBURG, FL (April 4, 2012) — University of South Florida St. Petersburg sophomore Evan Koteles placed third in the recent Student Pitch Competition at the University of Tampa.
The March 24 competition was part of the 2nd Annual Southeastern Entrepreneurship Conference, affiliated with the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization. The conference, hosted by the University of Tampa and supported by the Entrepreneurship Club at USFSP, drew entrepreneurship students from all across the Southeast.
It’s the latest example of growing recognition for the Entrepreneurship Program at the College of Business, founded just 18 months ago. Last week, five members of the club won the national 2012 CEO Startup Simulation Challenge and will share a $1,000 prize.
Evan, 23, who plans to major in entrepreneurship, was advised by Nathan Schwagler, creative-in-residence & visiting instructor, entrepreneurship. He encouraged Evan, a student in his class Creativity in Entrepreneurial Firms, to join the competition, even though he had less than a week to prepare and competed against students who had a year to get ready.
Evan’s pitch was about an invention he calls the Spunnel, a combination spoon and funnel. That helped him stand out, he said.
“I was pretty confident because not a lot of the other ideas were actual products,’’ Evan said. “They were more websites and apps and tech things…It was nice to have an impact as a newbie. One of the judges in the finals said, ‘Where’d you come from.”
Of course, the answer was simple: USF St. Petersburg, where nearly a half-century of tradition meets innovation in a creative, collaborative environment.
Evan has already taken steps to patent his invention.