By: Lexie Newhouse
On April 23, 2019, three Georgia State Students were selected to compete in the Women in Construction, Engineering, and Related Services (WISERS) “Big Ideas for a Bright Future” Pitch Competition. This pitch competition providing a platform for aspiring female entrepreneurs was part of the fifth annual WICERS conference held at the W Midtown in Atlanta, Georgia.
Angela Praseuth, a current Entrepreneurship major, was first to pitch with her digital hub concept designed to enhance students’ college experience by assisting them navigate, personalize and organize their student lifestyle.
“I was very nervous about pitching my idea because it was my first time competing in one. It was one of the boldest moves I’ve ever taken, and I’m glad I took this opportunity to share my idea,” said Praseuth, “Every person I have encountered at the WICERS ‘Big Ideas for a Bright Future’ pitch competition was friendly, accepting and understanding; everyone were so encouraging and willing to hear about our ideas that it gave me the courage to share my vision.”
Media Entrepreneurship major Lexie Newhouse took the stage next with papAR, a company looking to take books off the page and into the real world through augmented reality (AR) to enhance reading comprehension among students transitioning from picture books to picture-free novels.
“Having the opportunity to pitch before such an esteemed panel of judges, in a room of such strong and vibrant women leaders, is something that will continue to inspire me as I begin developing our 2D prototype into a 3D one. The energy and support throughout the conference was undeniable, making it an experience I’ll never forget,” said Newhouse.
Maiya Newton, a recent ’19 Computer Information Systems and Managerial Sciences graduate, closed out the competition with Duffle App, a crowdfunding platform that provides resources for athletes in low-income communities.
“I had a great time not only being able to practice pitching my idea but also being able to be among fellow female-student entrepreneurs which gave me more confidence than if I would’ve pitched alone,” said Newton.
The students remained in suspense for competition results as WICERS welcomed back the three Georgia State students the following day for the luncheon, keynote address, and award ceremony. In first place was Lexie Newhouse with a $3,000 grand prize. Maiya Newton took home $2,000 as the second-place winner. Angela Praseuth was awarded $1,000 as the third-place winner.
A special thank you to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Daphne Bryson Jackson, Theia Washington Smith, Linda Bridges, the remainder of the WICERS team and Hudson and Dufry, who sponsored this year’s pitch competition, for providing these student entrepreneurs with the opportunity to share their ideas for a brighter future.