Troy University’s IDEA Bank allowed food vendors, restaurants and other food entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges during the inaugural Food Expo + Pitch Competition.
The pitch competition served as a final for participants and one of the IDEA Bank’s business classes.
“The program is to help them grow, to take a step further with their business,” said Sorrell College of Business Dean Dr. Judson Edwards.
One of the main aspects of the course is learning how to pitch a business idea, which is what was judged in the competition. One of the the event’s judges included Travis Perry, a previous guest on the popular television show Shark Tank. During his TV appearance, Perry pitched his own creation that he called ChordBuddy—a tool that was meant to help beginners learn how to play the guitar.
“It’s on presentation, on how well they they’re able to talk about their company and deliver what their company is doing, what’s different different about their company than everybody else here,” Perry explained. “We’ll be looking for the next greatest food company here in Troy, Alabama.”
The event hosted a variety of food-related businesses from the program such as coffee shops, food trucks, bakeries, restaurants and a hot sauce company.
“We’ve done an excellent job in trying to blend community entrepreneurship and regional entrepreneurship with what we’re trying to do for our students,” Judson said. “The IDEA Bank is the perfect place to kind of bring all of that together and I think we’re making a lot of progress and I think it will just keep getting better.”
According to its website, TROY’s IDEA Bank “is to develop Troy University and Troy, Alabama into a regional center for economic growth by creating entrepreneurial resources and collaboration opportunities for our community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, local businesses, and leaders.”