Three minutes, a microphone, and an idea. That was the idea behind the Speed Pitch Competition, presented by Community Trust Bank. It was held on October 3 during the first day of the 2023 SOAR Summit, presented by Appalachian Wireless and the Appalachian Regional Commission, at the Corbin Arena.
The competition, which debuted at the 2022 SOAR Summit in Pikeville, offered cash prizes in three categories — high school student(s), college/university student(s), and general Summit attendees.
Let’s take a deep dive at who competed.
Meet the Competitors
Dakota Murphy and Casey Hovis
The program is a two-year residential program that allows students to complete their junior and senior years of high school and be enrolled at Morehead State University.
Through this program, Dakota and Casey were able to join the Hazel Green Academy (HGA) Revitalization Project.
The Hazel Green Academy was also a residential stay program in Wolfe County. It opened in 1880 and remained open until 1983 when it closed due to a rise in public schools in the area.
For the last 40 years, HGA has been left in disrepair, and with no one to look after the building, it is beginning to run down. The student’s goal is to revitalize the campus and give something back to the Hazel Green Academy.
The students aim to revitalize the campus using three strategic priorities:
- Place all of the buildings on the National Registry of Historic Places so that they can preserve the history of the facility and its significance to the community and region.
- Turn the on-campus administration building into an educational outreach center
- Increase community engagement through a free event called “Music on the Green.”
- This event is an 18-week event where 9 of those weeks will be hosted in the Fall and the other half in the Spring.
Madison Eubanks, Ethan Multin, and Graham Miracle
Madison Eubanks, Ethan Multin, and Graham Miracle, also students from The Craft Academy at Morehead State University, pitched an idea to further support the Craft Coalition and its participation in First Robotics.
The Craft Coalition is the first robotics team in Craft Academy history. First Robotics is a worldwide competition and the students participated in the first tech challenge which competes middle school through high school students.
As a part of their team, they have different categories to help support make this club available:
- Organization Team
- Build Team
- Programming Team
- Public Relations Team
Each year, the team gets a different challenge and a different game to design a robot. The team, however, is not solely robot builders. The team goes out and does outreach and tries to inspire other students to learn about robotics. Specifically, these students want to reach out to elementary schools so that they can introduce them to the world of robotics.
Randall attends Pineville High School and wants to study mechanical engineering. He’s passionate about the topic as he studies engineering in his free time and takes engineering courses at his school.
During his studies, he has always dreamed of revolutionizing the car industry and is inspired by the technology that we have in place. However, his futuristic mindset wanted to create something new: to create a futuristic, magnetic levitating car.
That’s right, a flying car!
His design is equipped with a superconductor magnet which is fueled by liquid nitrogen and these superconducting magnets begin to work well in really cold temperatures, as the low temperatures cause them to have a magnetic field that causes levitation.
With this concept and idea, we could all have levitating cars… built with the ingenuity and toughness of Appalachia.
Jerren’s idea was to create an app that whenever someone had a specific idea, they could type it into the app and it would send it out to corporations and businesses so that they could see if it could work and if it could be incorporated into certain things.
As for copyright, you would simply need to put in your full name and your email so that the copyright is tied to that specific email so that anyone else can steal that idea.
Lisa’s pitch idea was to help market and utilize Cumberland Falls as a tourist spot for more tourists to enjoy.
Lisa was inspired by the beauty that Cumberland Falls has to offer and she sees the potential for Kentucky to utilize and market the Falls to others across the nation.
Did you know that there are only two places in the entire world that have a moonbow? It’s in Zimbabwe and at Cumberland Falls?
Lisa believes that If she doesn’t boast the beauty of Kentucky, then who else will?
Adam is the CEO of GITT Apparel, which stands for Get in the Truck. He sells clothing apparel to help support organizations and most of all, shed light on recovery.
Adam believes in the concept that anyone can GITT traveling, GITT ready, GITT fit, GITT inspired to do what it takes to live a better tomorrow.
He began his business two after becoming sober on May 7, 2019.
His passion and commitment to creating an inspiring apparel company only help shed light on the potential that anyone seeking recovery can reach their dreams no matter how big they are.
GITT apparel also gives back to charity work where a percentage of the profits goes towards fundraising.
Adams is also a former Startup Appalachia Pitch Competition competitor.
Mark is the Creator and Founder of Slope Master Innovations, a manufacturer of remote-control mowing machines.
In the mountains, mowing on the side of our mountainsides is no easy task and can be a dangerous task, that is where Slope Master Innovation comes in.
Slope Master Innovations is helping save lives one machine at a time.
These remote-controlled machines can do the hard work on the mountainsides of Appalachia and make mowing safe.
Ashley competed in the Speed Pitch Competition representing Slings for Hope Recovery. Her business is headquartered in Jackson County.
As a 37-year-old recovering addict, whose start recovery date dates back to April 8, 2019, Ashley’s idea is to help support others trying to face recovery themselves and let them know that positive change can happen.
Ashley wants to be able to speak with younger generations to help share stories of what could happen before it does happen to them.
People in recovery are her passion and she wants to help each person she can.
The winners of this year’s Speed Pitch Competition were:
First Place | Dakota Murphy and Casey Hovis
Second Place | Ashley Gabbard
Third Place | Madison Eubanks, Ethan Multin, and Graham Miracle
Launch your idea at the Startup Appalachia Pitch Competition
Do you have Appalachia Kentucky’s next big idea?
We want to hear it… and we want to fund it.
Stay tuned to find out where the competition will be taking place, but in the meantime, take a look at the application to help inspire you! Share it with your friends and your neighbors to pitch a business idea!
Thanks to the generosity of Community Trust Bancorp, we will award nearly $20,000 in cash prizes with first-place taking home $10,000.
The deadline to apply is December 31, 2023. We know that applying for a pitch competition can be a little intimidating. It doesn’t have to be and our SOAR Innovation Team is here to help you at each step leading up to the competition.
You can apply HERE.