Skip to main content


April 27, 2017

Students Split $3,500 for Their Entrepreneurial Pitches

Investors Bank Helping Seed Students' Dreams

From the latest in Italian soccer to a portable water fountain for dogs, St. Francis College student entrepreneurs pitched their best entrepreneurial ideas to a team of experts at the 2017 College-Wide Pitch Contest on April 27.

(Watch the Pitch Challenge Finals)

Investors Bank sponsored the competition and offered $3,500 in prize money to help seed the student ventures. Senior Vice President Mark Noto was one of the judges. Mr. Noto has lectured in St. Francis Entrepreneur classes and provided valuable feedback to students.

Other judges included John Paul Devito, CCO of SpeedRoute, and Sacred Walker, founder of Kuumba Health.

sydney bell

First Prize and $1,500 went to Sydney Bell '19, a Communication Arts major, to help buy equipment for her photography company, which she started a few years ago as a high school student in Texas.

Second Prize went to Business Management major John Rodriguez '19, a veteran, who earned $1,000 to develop a prototype of Hound20, a portable device dogs wear to give them water.

Third Prize ($750) and the Audience Award ($250) went to Business Management majors Marco Messina '17 and Michael Kantaris '18 for their sports multimedia start-up Italian Football TV (IFTV), an internet based show that brings the excitement of the Italian Serie A soccer league to an English speaking audience.

Other projects included a one-of-a-kind clothing line and a way to keep New York City's Olympic sized pools open year-round.

"The Pitch Challenge gives our student entrepreneurs an opportunity to polish their business plans and pitches as well as earn some crucial start-up funds for their proposed businesses," said Eda Sanchez-Persampieri, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. "From more than 50 entrepreneurial pitches, we had to choose the seven best. Any one of them could have taken home the top prizes."

In addition to supporting the Pitch Challenge, Investors Bank also funds the Investors Bank Community Service Scholarship which awards students who give back to the community through volunteer efforts.

Go to for more information.

St. Francis College's Center for Entrepreneurship seeks to stimulate and promote entrepreneurial activity in Brooklyn that leads to creation of sustainable socioeconomic value. The Center seeks to create synergistic partnerships with Brooklyn-based entrepreneurs by providing them with access to faculty experts through two channels: value-added programs of research and education that helps the entrepreneur bridge the knowledge gap and providing entrepreneurs with a toolbox of resources through the Center's Open Virtual Incubator. The Center seeks to create socially responsible and robust entrepreneurial activity with its Brooklyn-based business partners.

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City's five boroughs and beyond.


St. FrancisCollege,

180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY11201

This site uses cookies

We use cookies to improve user experience and analyze website traffic. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies.