Ivy Tech Bloomington general studies student, Nefertiti Morris, took the top spot at Ivy Tech’s inaugural Duke It Out business pitch competition held last Friday, April 1.

Morris presented her business idea for a healthier food truck called “The Juice Truck,” serving organic fruit and vegetable smoothies, pressed juices, and snacks. She competed with seven other Ivy Tech students for the winning prize of $500 cash for the best business pitch.

The second place winner was hospitality administration student, April Williams, who presented her business idea “Cooking from Memory,” a custom catering service for senior citizens in which she would do the shopping and cooking for dinner gatherings. Williams won $300 for her idea. As a special prize, her business was voted audience favorite and Williams was awarded a gift certificate to Grazie Italian Eatery.

General studies student, Desiree Anderson, took home the third place prize of $200 for her business idea, “Glam Swabs,” which are precision make-up remover applicators. She said she hoped to use the prize money to go toward developing a prototype of her product.

Ivy Tech students from all academic areas were invited to apply for a spot in the Duke It Out competition. Competitors were from a variety of academic programs including general studies, hospitality administration, entrepreneurship, design technology, business administration, and industrial technology.

Other business ideas in the competition included rent-to-own homes (Daniel Oberle), an open source modular camera (Justin Icenhour), and aftermarket automotive accessory and custom shop (Ben Crandall), a natural body scrub product (Brian Farley) and an electricity-free outdoor boiler to power homes and businesses (Eric Shepard).

The eight students in the competition were selected by the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Center to give three minute business pitches. A team of judges consisting of local entrepreneurs and local business leaders deliberated to name the winners.

The Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech (www.ivytech.edu/entrepreneurhsip) hosted the competition and it was made possible by Duke Energy.

For more information about the event, contact Meghan Turner at (812)-330-6261.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.