‘ICE’ class hosts backwards pitch competition

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This past week, the interdisciplinary course “Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship,” commonly referred to as ICE, had students participate in what was labeled as a ‘Backwards Pitch competition.’ The goal of the competition was for students to create and sell a comically ridiculous product or business idea to the 90 or so peers in attendance, as well as three judges that were invited into the session to score the competition. The class, as previously covered in the Concordiensis by Concordiensis Editor in Chief Talha Janjua ’19, is “an activity and speaker-based course that will allow students to benefit from different styles of teaching.” Designed by six current Union students and a variety of Union professors, each day brings a new speaker and a new theme to a course built upon the foundations of enabling creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial mindsets in students. The ‘Backwards Pitch’ competition was one of the group activities involved in the course. It is also one of the many activities where the course asks students and their groups to become creative, non-traditional thinkers. The competition garnered some ridiculous ideas, some simply vulgar ideas, and many other ideas that were both humorous and creative within the classroom setting. The highest scoring pitch, as scored by the judges that ranged from Union professors to alumni, was a company that takes businesses and rebrands them based off of their name. Group participants took various businesses, such as Target and Subway, from the crowd, and completely changed what that company does based off the original names. One idea for a product was a phone that sends all of your recent texts straight to your parents. Another product idea came in the form of a dietary supplement called ‘Diet Water.’ Over the course of the one hour and 45 minute class, there were no ideas that could have been deemed as serviceable businesses. However, the students absolutely filled the assignment of pitching completely backwards businesses. While presenting their projects, the groups kept their fellow peers laughing for the entirety of the class. “This created a jovial and productive atmosphere for everyone involved,” stated Janjua. Classes like ICE give students a great opportunity to not only think outside the box, but to draw important lessons and advice from people that have been successful in the world of entrepreneurship. As concluded by Janjua, “We will all look for the students in the course to turn their backwards pitches around, and show creative entrepreneurial success in the real world.”

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