Equity incubator competitions at USG this spring. Guest Post: Jack O’Donnell, UMD comm student at USG

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Equity Incubator Rocket Pitch Competition hosted by the Universities at Shady Grove’s (USG) Entrepreneurship Lab on March 29th, and I must say, it was quite an event! The competition featured groups of entrepreneurs who had been working together for eight weeks to develop and refine their business ideas, culminating in a final pitch to three judges who included Mike Priddy, Cathy Bernard, and MaryAnn Mayhew. 

The energy in the room was fun and exciting and led by Equity Incubator Program Professor, Le Marie Vanessa Joan Thompson. Each group was given one minute to take their turn at the front of the room, confidently presenting their ideas with passion and conviction. The judges listened intently, and then had one minute to ask thoughtful questions and provide valuable feedback. 

The judges have the difficult task of selecting just five groups to move on to the next stage of the competition. The stakes are high, with the winning group set to receive a $10,000 prize to help bring their business idea to life. 

But even for those who don’t make it to the final round, there is still plenty to celebrate. Everyone worked hard to create something meaningful and contribute to a great event. The evening was full of positive energy, and attendees were treated to delicious coffee and pastries provided by Jaliyaa Coffee, a previous Equity Incubator participant. 

Overall, the Equity Incubator Rocket Pitch Competition was an inspiring showcase of the power of entrepreneurship and innovation. It was clear that each group had put in a tremendous amount of effort and dedication to develop their ideas, and I have no doubt that many of them will go on to achieve great success in the future.

While in attendance, I took a number of photos in support of USG as part of my current internship with the Marketing and Communications team on campus. You can check out photos from the Rocket Pitch here on USG’s Flickr account.

Next up, is the Equity Incubator Showcase, happening on April 19th from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. The five teams will convene again to compete for the $10,000 grand prize. I hope to see you there as well!

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