Mark Stolte ’25 (left), Justice Wenz (middle) & Styles McCorkle ’25 preparing for their Team Business Pitch, Steppers, Inc.

The heat was rising outside; however, the second floor of fusion 54 in downtown Crawfordsville had cool air with excited individuals. Week 4 of the Business Innovation Program (BIP) with 19 rising sophomores in the Center for Innovation, Business & Entrepreneurship (CIBE) came prepared for PITCH DAY!

The CIBE class of 2025 spent lots of time creating innovative ideas for a new business. Car Consulting, Steppers, Inc., 18 Links, Launch Performance & Next in Line (NIL) were the five teams presenting their ideas to a panel of alumni and spectators. We focused on the financials, marketing, and much more from the knowledge we learned weeks prior. Overall, the presentations went well. The alumni judges: Steve Hoffman ’85, Hugh Vandivier ’91, Tony Unfried ’03, Zack Carl ’18 & Alejandro Reyna ’17, provided clear and concise feedback to help further our entrepreneurial ideas. Launch Performance (Vaughn Taylor ’25, Jesse Hall ’25, Justin Santiago ’25 & Jake Oostman ’25) won the contest with a combined $245,000 invested into their mock business. Steppers Inc. (Mark Stolte ’25, Styles McCorkle ’25 & Justice Wenz ’25) finished second in the spectator voting. Despite only having one winner, every group gained insightful knowledge about entrepreneurship.

As Anthony Mendez ’20 stated, “You gentlemen felt the power of the big E in CIBE.” Building financial models, doing market research on your total addressable market, building revenue, and pricing plans, etc. The things we learned from Pitch Day will bode well as we look to the future for our next job or career. Thank you to all who came out to watch or judge the presentations. Also, thank you to Cassie Hagan for directing the BIP this summer and the donors for funding this tremendous internship program!

The winning team of Jesse Hall ’25 (far left), Justin Santiago ’25 (middle left), Vaughn Taylor ’25 (middle right) & and Jake Oostman ’25 (far right) winning Pitch Day