Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit: The Powers College of Business hosts the second annual Powers Pitch Competition


Henry Putney stands with the Powers Pitch Competition trophy.
Henry Putney, a senior management major, won the second annual Powers Pitch Competition this spring.
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The atmosphere was electric at the Powers Pitch Competition as student entrepreneurs engaged in conversation around Phyfer Auditorium, explained their business models, described their products, and answered questions. This spring, The Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business hosted its second annual Powers Pitch Competition, providing student entrepreneurs with a platform to showcase their business concepts and products.

 To qualify for the Powers Pitch competition, students first had to submit a video application explaining the key features of their business concepts. Then, the chosen applicants underwent an initial pitch to a series of judges, where they received feedback. A portion of these students were selected to compete in a tradeshow, where they showcased their business models and products. Another set moved on as pitch finalists, to pitch again to a new set of judges, where they were judged based on their knowledge of their market and target audience, their presentation quality, their ability to handle the Q&A portion with the judges and the “wow factor.”

Judges for the pitch competition were selected to represent a diverse set of people and groups involved in Clemson’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. This included entrepreneurial support systems, business development centers, local entrepreneurs, Powers College of Business alumni and faculty and business owners. When it came to the final pitch competition following the tradeshow, three judges led the Q&A portion of four different sessions of pitches. 11 Clemson students participated in the trade show and eight made it to a final round of pitches.

Henry Putney, a senior management major, pitched FilterFox at the second annual Powers Pitch Competition.

The winner of the Powers Pitch Competition this year was Henry Putney and his product Filter Fox. Filter Fox is a unique airflow detection device coupled with an app that notifies you when it is time to replace furnace filters, reducing health, safety, and energy cost problems typically associated with furnace filters.

Putney stated, “I’m super grateful to have won first place in The Powers Pitch Competition 2024 for my entrepreneurial venture. Thank you to the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business at Clemson University for this opportunity as well as the Arthur M. Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership I’m also thankful especially for the guidance from my professors and mentors Bill DiNardoKeith HudginsChad Navis, and John Hannon, Ph.D., as well as many others who have also supported me throughout my pursuits.”

Final Pitch Winners

  • 1st place, award of $5,000: Filter Fox
  • 2nd place, award of $2,500: Array Athletic
  • 3rd place, award of $1,000: Tiny Titan Systems
  • 4th place, award of $750: Food Truck Hub
  •  5th place, award of $500: Overlap 
  • Award of $100: LINKED, Ripl, HemoFlow Pump

Tradeshow Winners

  • 1st place, award of $1,500: Doug’s Cutz
  • 2nd place, award of $1,000: Puddle Shuttle
  • 3rd place, award of $750: FitQuest
  • People’s Choice, award of $750: FitQuest
  • Award of $250: Flavor Blast, Nightly
Lara Tijing, student at Clemson University, participates in a tradeshow to showcase her product.
Lara Tijing, a junior majoring in graphic communications, participates in the tradeshow for her brand Pop Joy.

Chad Navis, the Arthur M. Spiro Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership at Clemson, elaborates on the benefits of having student entrepreneurship-focused events like the Powers Pitch Competition.

“Students who enter the competition benefit in so many different ways,” Navis explains. “Even if they don’t win one of the awards, they still get invaluable mentorship from experts, extra motivation to take their business concepts to the next level, closer bonds with like-minded entrepreneurial students, and tremendous experience for the future. Students always tell me they would 100% do it over again!”

To learn more about the Powers Pitch Competition, visit their website.

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