By Saige Draeger-Arries
Each year, CU Denver’s Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship hosts its Business Plan Competition, in which young entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to established business leaders, with the winner receiving the financial support needed to start or grow their business.
Recently, the Jake Jabs Center hosted a “Shark Tank” style pitch night,the quarter-final portion of this year’s competition, where participants were given two minutes to present their elevator pitch to a panel of esteemed judges, who then asked participants follow-up questions for up to three minutes. One such participant was Drew Kennedy, an MBA student at CU Denver who heard about the competition while working as a Graduate Peer Advisor at the business school. Having completed his MS in Management and Organization, specializing in Sports and Entertainment Management in May of 2016, Kennedy said that he felt compelled to take part in THE CLIMB as a way to challenge himself and aid his close friend who wanted to start his own company.
Given his background in Sports and Entertainment Management, Kennedy and his group developed Pocket Passer, an interactive outdoor tailgating game where players try to outscore one another by successfully throwing footballs through a series of holes. The Pocket Passer business plan was a hit with the judges at the competition’s pitch night, and was selected as one of the ten startups to advance to the Semi-Final event on November 10th.
Kennedy and his group see THE CLIMB Business Plan Competition as an opportunity to realize their goal of expanding Pocket Passer nationwide, bringing the fun to friends, families, and communities at tailgates and events across the country.
Pocket Passer is one of six collegiate teams advancing to THE CLIMB Semi-Finals. Additional collegiate teams competing at the semi-finals include Kiddin’, PassKey, Solve Climbing, and Veloce Corporation.