Northampton Community College (NCC) hosted its 5th annual student idea pitch competition on April 19 at the vibrant Fowler Family Southside Center. Ten NCC students pitched their innovative ideas to a panel of four judges, showcasing their creativity and entrepreneurship. The event was made successful due to a 10-week start-up bootcamp, where students participated in an extensive program that included attending inspiring One Million Cups presentations, engaging in seven rigorous lectures, working on prototyping their products, and going on field trips to gain real-world insights. 

The student idea pitch competition and bootcamp is a platform for students to showcase their original entrepreneurial ideas and receive valuable feedback from expert judges, peers and mentors. Each student was matched with an experienced mentor from the business and non-profit sector who provided guidance and support throughout the entire process. These mentors played a crucial role in helping the students refine their ideas, develop their pitches, and navigate through the complexities and challenges that come along with entrepreneurship. The mentorship program gave a unique opportunity for the students to learn from professionals in their field. 

Each student’s final pitch showcased all of their hard work in bringing their ideas to life, focusing on various industries including technology, sustainability, social impact and more. The NCC Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) provided each student with the necessary resources and opportunities to succeed in the business world and beyond. 

First-place was a draw with two winners. Media and professional writing major, Alexa-Nichole Villafana, took home first-place, which came with a $1,000 award, for Network Exchange Magazine, an online and print magazine targeting individuals with alternative lifestyles in Lehigh Valley, Poconos and Philadelphia. The other first-place winner and recipient of $1,000 was computer science major, David Bertram, with Spinertia, a new type of fidget device specifically created to help individuals with ADHD and anxiety disorders. The audience’s choice and recipient of $250 was NCC international student, Shaheen Shaikh. She won the audience over with Elira, a game tackling gender discrimination in India.  

The ten distinguished students who participated in this year’s bootcamp and student pitch idea competition included NCC students, Kevin Gardner, Cristian Gonzalez, Jandy Hernandez, Caroline McAleavey, Alexa-Nichole Villafana, David Bertram, Shane Weinberg, Ny’ajah Sumler, Nelson Pena, and Shaheen Shaikh. 

With each passing year, the student idea pitch competition continues to be a highlight of NCC’s entrepreneurial efforts, supporting the next generation of business leaders and change makers. All NCC students fortunate enough to participate should take pride in their accomplishments and dedication during this year’s bootcamp and final pitch competition. The NCC community is proud to have such ambitious and high-achieving individuals.