The third annual Startup Lehigh Valley pitch competition, sponsored by Factory, hosted 10 would-be entrepreneurs vying for $10,000 in prizes. One of only two students selected from numerous entries, Vladimir Barshchuk ’22 gave the judges a full-length pitch during a dry run and then shortened it to two minutes for the live broadcast on WFMZ.

Barshchuk created a subscription-based web app that allows students to learn to invest in a virtual market simulation rather than by losing their own money.

While his first minute was solid, he froze a bit in the second minute. Afterward, the judges offered their support during this learning moment and praised his idea.

Vladimir will use their advice as he enters other local and national competitions.

In addition to the pitch, the event held its first-ever awards ceremony and presented the Dyer Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship with the trophy for the best entrepreneurship program in the Lehigh Valley.

Yusuf Dahl, director of the Dyer Center, was on hand to support Barshchuk and collect the award.

“It is an honor to earn this award given the high level of entrepreneurial engagement at campuses around the Lehigh Valley,” says Yusufl. “It validates how active, engaged, and robust the ecosystem on this campus is.”

The prize includes a food truck visit so the campus community can see what innovation tastes like.

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