Student Entrepreneurs Awarded Seed Money at SF-U-Pitch Event


The CEO Club’s SF-U-Pitch competition concluded on March 16 when seven finalists pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges at Schwab Hall.

Prior to the final pitch event, the judges reviewed all of the contest applications and narrowed the pool down to the seven finalists, who shared their ideas in person at the March 16 event.

The panel of judges included people from various sectors of the business world.

Julia Willason won first place. The judges were impressed with her business idea of online hairdressing courses for all types and styles of hair.

“I was so excited to win,” said Willason, a senior Communications and Marketing double-major. “I did not expect it because all of the students brought great ideas and did very well when pitching.”

As a result of her first-place finish at SF-U-Pitch, Willason will have the opportunity to present at a national pitching event in Chicago next year.

“I look forward to competing in Chicago,” said the Johnstown native. “Some of my family lives in Chicago and they promised to come to the national competition if it is open to the public.”

Willason was one of three students awarded money for their start-up ideas at the finals.

Aubrey Deptula and Samuel Ghigiarelli secured money for their business ventures as well.

“I was very excited to win third place at the event,” said Ghigiarelli. “The competition was really high, so to be chosen by the judges was an honor.”

“To get the support and belief of experienced entrepreneurs means a lot to me.”