U.Va. Student Wins Prize at 'Elevator Pitch' Competition at Princeton University Conference

April 14, 2009 — Amanda Pennfield, a fourth-year student in the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce, won two round-trip airline tickets to anywhere in the United States for the business idea she presented in an "elevator pitch" competition held last month during a Princeton University conference in Houston.

Pennfield's two-minute pitch — short enough to give to a prospective financier during a hypothetical elevator ride — described a business geared toward the elderly that will help them live at home, rather than have to go to a nursing home.

Pennfield, who is concentrating in finance and management, and third-year McIntire student Avina Sugiarto, who is concentrating in finance and accounting, were among 70 students selected from 700 applicants to present their pitches at an annual conference offered by Princeton University's Business Today. This year's conference focused on "The Evolution and Ethics of Business in the 21st Century."

During the two-day event, students participated in seminar sessions with executives from such firms as ExxonMobil and ATP Oil & Gas Corporation. The conference culminated with the elevator pitch competition, which was judged by a panel of executives and Business Today staff members.

Business Today is "a nonprofit student organization founded by Steve Forbes in 1968 at Princeton University committed to encouraging debate and dialogue between college students and business leaders." It is also the largest student-run publication in the country. The conference is considered America's forum for the leaders of today and tomorrow.