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Virtual Elevator Pitch: Disruption or Opportunity?

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division Technical Session 7

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

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Paper Authors


Sandra Furnbach Clavijo PE P.E. Stevens Institute of Technology (School of Engineering and Science)

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Sandra Clavijo is the Director of Core Education for the Schaefer School of Engineering & Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology. She coordinates the instructional delivery, student registration and scheduling logistics and collection of assessment data for all core courses in the undergraduate engineering and science programs. Sandra previously worked in the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and managed programs encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship around Stevens Campus. Sandra also teaches courses in Entrepreneurial Thinking and Innovation at Baruch College and Lafayette College. Before coming to Stevens, Sandra worked as a consulting engineer with Stantec and T and M Associates specializing in Urban Land Redevelopment and Municipal Engineering. Sandra holds a B.S. Degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering, an A. B. degree in Art History from Lafayette College and a Master of Engineering degree in Engineering Management from Stevens Institute of Technology. She also holds a Professional Engineering license in NJ.

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Kishore Pochiraju Stevens Institute of Technology (School of Engineering and Science)

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Kishore Pochiraju is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering department at Stevens Institute of Technology. He recently served as the Founding Director of the Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Program at Stevens ( IDEaS) and prior to that, as the Director of the Design and Manufacturing Institute, a research center at Stevens. Prof. Pochiraju received his Ph.D. in 1993 from Drexel University and joined Stevens after working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Delaware. His expertise spans product design, advanced manufacturing, materials insertion, and knowledge-based systems integration. His current externally-funded research is on the design of real-time lightweight robotic systems, high-temperature materials, and micro-/nano-scale devices. He is a member of ASME, ASEE and the American Society for Composites (ASC).

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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many on-campus activities worldwide in this Spring, and one of them was the annual elevator pitch competition at Stevens Institute of Technology. The circumstances required us to teach all the courses remotely, reexamine the competition rules, and enable teamwork and intense competition. The semi-finals and finals were traditionally held as 3-minute live pitches made in front of a panel of judges with a follow up of 3 minutes of question and answer period. Due to COVID-19, our university went entirely online after seven weeks of in-person classes in the Spring semester. While coaching can be online, the elevator pitch competition required a new format for the pitch competition.

This paper will talk about our revised remote competition format that was utilized last year, and will be utilized this coming year. It will also report some of our results which included several benefits to the competition including enhancements to the judging rounds. Preliminary data analysis suggests that due to the judges' increased thoroughness, the total scores were lower than in previous years, as the judges drilled down deeper into each project. This paper provides an in depth understanding of how we decided to add a due-diligence phase into the semi-final and the final rounds of our elevator pitch competition for engineering students.

Clavijo, S. F., & Pochiraju, K. (2021, July), Virtual Elevator Pitch: Disruption or Opportunity? Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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