Centenary College students prepare for entrepreneurship with business pitch competition


Students at Centenary College pitched their best business ideas for cold, hard cash in the Frost Pitch Challenge recently held on campus. The competition was presented by Centenary College of Louisiana’s Frost School of Business and BRF’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP) — which provides services to innovative startups and works to stimulate entrepreneurship opportunities in North Louisiana. Centenary and EAP have partnered for a second year to continue their work to help prepare students to be leaders and entrepreneurs in North Louisiana.

Four finalist teams competed for nearly $5,000 in cash and prizes. To prepare for the final event, student competitors first participated in speed consulting and business development workshops online and in person. They then submitted pitch presentations for evaluation to determine the finalists who would be eligible to compete in the final round.

The winning team and finalists were announced at a special banquet and awards ceremony where they networked with local leaders in education and business, mentors and sponsors.The top cash prize of $3,000 was awarded to London Todd for her idea of a luxury picnic company called Le Chic Piquenique.  

“Winning this competition was a really euphoric feeling because I never thought I would win $3,000,” said Todd, a senior biology/neuroscience and MBA student.  “I did it to grow my business idea; it taught me a lot about how businesses are run and the financial side of things.”

Luke Royle and John Beaudoin won second place and a cash prize of $1,000 for New Leaf Painting, a commercial and residential painting company idea. Elizabeth Matthews placed third for her business idea Techno Code, a service to train business professionals on how to code to earn higher wages. Senior Kile Mingo won fourth place and a $250 cash prize for his company Loot Boys & Co, a luxury clothing company.

All four teams also won professional services from EAP for six months and will receive scholarships to the 2022 Louisiana Startup Prize to compete with other entrepreneurs for a $25,000 grand prize.

“This competition provides invaluable coaching and mentoring with experienced business professionals outside of the school and gives students a better sense of what they are capable of achieving,” said Dr. Barbara Davis, William J. Atkins Dean of the Frost School of Business, and Professor of Accounting & Finance. “They learn that their future is what they make it.”

The following Centenary faculty and community business professionals served as judges during the final business pitch competition:

  • Lindsay Holman Atkins, Former News Producer, KTBS-TV 
  • Darrin Dixon, Director, Small Business Development Center at SUSLA 
  • Wesley Eckles, Insurance Agent, State Farm
  • Jim Malsch, Managing Member, JRM Ventures, LLC
  • Shalisa Roland, Public Relations and Digital Content Manager, Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau  
  • Dr. Helen Sikes, Professor of Accounting & Finance, Centenary College
  • Dave Smith, Executive Director, BRF’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program

“It’s important for us to provide these opportunities as we continually work to build the future of our region,” said Dave Smith, Executive Director of EAP. “It all starts with our students and showing them they can have their own successful ventures right here in Louisiana.”

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