From left to right: Charlotte Hazzard, Christopher Figueroa, Ronnie Ruiz, Sila Fryre, Joshua Pardhe, Sebastian Racha
Student wins $20,000 in cash and services for personal tire business
During Spring Break, six students from six different Maricopa Community Colleges participated in “The Big Pitch” challenge, hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation, for a chance to win $20,000 in cash and services for their start-up business. Each college sent their top student entrepreneur to compete. Throughout the week, students listened to lectures, engaged in mentor round-tables, and received pitch coaching.
On March 26, 2018, each student presented a standard investor pitch that covered the topics of: problems and solutions, target customer, market size, competition, revenue model and market strategy, current traction, and team. While all participants gave strong presentations, Estrella Mountain Community College student Ronnie Ruiz delivered the most strategic pitch and took home the grand prize.
His business, Kustom Tyres and Supplies (KT&S), converts black-wall tires into custom white or colored sidewalls. KT&S offers a variety of different colors, sizes, and patterns that can be applied to any vehicle, motorcycle, or bike tire.
On April 11, 2018, Ruiz represented Maricopa Community Colleges at the Conscious Capitalism Collegiate Challenge at Grand Canyon University. He shared his mission to expand KT&S to create jobs in underserved communities.
This is the first time “The Big Pitch” has taken place. CEI plans to host the challenge each year and increase district-wide participation to support entrepreneurial efforts across all Maricopa Community Colleges. As CEI prepares for next year’s competition, the organization will also help Ruiz reach his goal of $100,000 in revenue.
We would like to thank all of our students who participated in the challenge:
Christopher Figueroa – Paradise Valley Community College
Z Conference: A conference that connects community college students and faculty to improve retention
Sila Fyre – GateWay Community College
Finest Finds: An online platform that allows users to discover and purchase high-quality, used furniture with just one click
Charlotte Hazzard – South Mountain Community College
HushUp Bra: A patented bra that alleviates discomfort for women who wear D-cups and above
Joshua Pardhe – Glendale Community College
Green Planet Systems: A phone app that reduces water waste by creating friendly competition in apartment communities
Sébastien Racha – Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Le Cliché: A French bakery that offers authentic, handcrafted French bread