The Elevator Pitch Contest is a leg of MIT’s $100K Entrepreneurship Competition where aspiring student entrepreneurs have just 60 seconds to wow the judges (and the audience) with why their idea is the Next Big Thing. That means getting their pitches down to as few words as possible. And this year, at the fourth annual installment of the fast-paced event last week, the words “collapsible air freight crate” did it for MIT-based team Green Logistics.
The team, led by Sloan School of Management student Anand Dass, won the $5,000 grand prize to help get its idea for cutting down on the fuel jets waste in shipping empty freight containers off the ground. Last year’s Elevator Pitch winner, C-Crete Technologies, also worked on a technology a bit off the beaten-path of software or life sciences: nanotechnology-engineered concrete developed in a much cleaner process than traditional concrete. That team went on to take the top prize at the overall $100K competition.
This year’s Elevator Pitch Contest, designed to simulate the chance encounter of running into a potential investor and only having a few seconds to pitch him or her, drew more than 300 contestant teams from 23 colleges in the region. The finalist group was narrowed down to 12 teams spanning the life sciences, IT, and social Web spaces. Supply Change, another MIT Sloan team working on sustainable supply chain awareness, took the $2,000 runner-up prize and the $1,000 audience choice award. Another runner up was Boston’s Best Bees, a team out of Tufts University that’s developing methods for delivering vaccines to bees, to enable them to better survive in the winters and avoid diseases. The team also develops and installs beehives for urban habitats.
There are two more events to come in this installment of the MIT $100K Competition. Next up is the Executive Pitch Contest in February, which will be followed up in the spring by the final Business Plan Contest, where more than $350,000 in prize money is at stake. So stay tuned to see what other unconventional technologies sprout up in the process.