Averett University’s Inaugural Business Pitch Gong Show

Posted on November 13th, 2023 by Kelly King

In a blend of entrepreneurial entertainment, Averett University’s Department of Business Administration and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation recently held their inaugural

Business Pitch Gong Show. The event, held on Nov. 2, 2023, at the Wilkins stage in the Cougar Den, showcased innovative business ideas from 14 students.

The competition drew inspiration from popular shows “Shark Tank” and the 1970s “Gong Show” and marked success in promoting creativity and entrepreneurial spirit among all who participated.

The event witnessed an impressive turnout and a number of high-quality business pitches. The rules were straightforward: present a compelling business idea within a three-minute timeframe, impressing a panel of judges with both the strength of the pitch and the practicality of the business concept.

“I am so thankful to have been able to see the incredible turnout and enthusiastic, high-quality pitches at our first event,” said Peggy Wright, professor and co-chair, business administration and division chair, applied sciences.

Facing the challenging task of ranking the participants, Averett’s John Vigouroux and Dr. Vince Decker judged alongside Will Mackaman from the Danville River District Association. Unable to come to a decision, the three decided to award two students first, second and third place finishes.

Thanks to investments from key sponsors, various prizes were awarded to the top finishers:

1st Place


Fred Koskinen – AI Personal Assistant

Braden Lynch – Braden Bakes

2nd Place

Zachary Shumate & Colton Price – Swinger Golf App

Ian Garland – Queen Honeybee Propagation

3rd Place

Matias Yritys – Sports Statistics Engagement App

Sophia Marshall – Golf Stats App


Averett University’s inaugural Business Pitch Gong Show proved to be a hit around campus celebrating innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. As the University continues to nurture and support its budding entrepreneurs, the Business Pitch Gong Show promises to be a key highlight going forward.