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14 Teams Join Innovation Pitch Competition

The Gallaudet Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute (GIEI) partnered with Convo Relay to launch the 2018 BisonTank innovation pitch competition on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, at the Gallaudet University Museum.

The elimination round competition featured a record number of 14 participating teams comprised of undergraduate students of Gallaudet University. Among our distinguished judges were Jarrod Musano, CEO of Convo; Dr. Khadijat Rashid, ’90, School of Education, Business and Human Services dean; Sofia Seitchik, ”;99, founder of Global Deaf Women; Sachiko Flores, G-’14, co-founder of CorpsTHAT; and Sean Maiwald, ’16, co-founder of reFort.

Melissa Yingst, ’00, Convo community and outreach coordinator, and student Breannah Medina were mistresses of ceremonies.

“GIEI is very grateful to have a partner in Convo that truly understands what it means to share community values as well as strengths,” said Ryan Maliszewski, GIEI executive director. “Beyond providing students with soft skills-focused as well as entrepreneurial mindset training throughout the semester, we introduce students to the power of networking as well as storytelling, which is what Convo does very well.”

GIEI and Convo are proud of each team for all of their dedication and effort invested in making this a successful competition.

Judges were faced with an extremely tough decision as to which six teams would advance to the final round. Those teams include Bison Salon & Spa (Thia Sandefur), Blow-out To-go (Cassie Roberson), Dream Cafe (Ariella Dramin, Elisha Watson, and Matthew McQuinn), FEEL Expressions (Nikolya Sereda), MunXe (Matt Sherman and Logan Waldo), and SuperPockets (Emely Rodriguez and Angie Bedoya).

Come and join the final competition at Peikoff Alumni House (“Ole Jim”) on December 4, 2018, at 5:30 p.m. to find out which of the six teams will take home the first-place prize of $2,500. Second place ($1,500), third place ($1,000), and crowd favorite ($500) prizes will also be awarded.

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