Four teams from LSU participated recently in PitchBR, a flagship event held during Baton Rouge Entrepreneur Week (BREW), as part of the university’s Innovation Corps program. Each team had 60 seconds to pitch its idea or business to a live audience with the chance for a $1,000 cash prize.
Many of the groups found the time constraint to be a major challenge while preparing for their pitches.
“We were trying to get out as much information about the product,” said Aaron Gremillion, an LSU information systems and decision sciences graduate pursuing his Juris Doctor at the LSU Law Center. “We wanted to maintain a conversational tone and make sure they were not confused by what we were saying.”
Aaron, Patrick and Phillip Gremillion, who is an alumnus of the LSU Construction Management program, created 29 Apparel. The luxury activewear has copper-infused technology within the fabric to make it antimicrobial, stopping the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
The siblings, who are Baton Rouge natives, decided to pursue this business idea after being contacted by a professor at LSU who was familiar with the Innovation Corps program.
Additionally, Charles Soileau and his group members presented International Pumps and Parks, their industrial e-commerce company specializing in designing pumps and related equipment sales.
Soileau, a junior marketing and sales major from Baton Rouge, explained they were working with a few northern manufactures who didn’t have an online presence in the southern region of the United States.
“We wanted a way to get pumps and mechanical equipment down here in a lower margin than what local shippers can offer,” Soileau said.
Innovation Corps is a four-week program funded by the National Science Foundation aimed to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research and offers entrepreneurship training to student participants.
For the past two years, Brian Shedd, assistant director of the LSU Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization, had about 40 teams, typically faculty members, working on various ideas and businesses at LSU. This is the first year that the program opened the floor to student-only teams.
The teams had the option of pursuing their own ideas or choosing one from the research portion of the LSU technology portfolio.
Shedd said the goal was to get the participants familiar with presenting to an audience.
“This is part of this effort to build up this entrepreneurial ecosystem at the university,” Shedd said. “We are just getting started.”
By Raven Nichols, Communications Intern