BUILDFest Southwestern PA 2024 Recap

Reflecting on BUILDFest Southwestern PA

The 3rd Annual Southwestern PA Youth Pitch Competition, hosted by BUILDFest SWPA, took place on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, from 5:00 to 7:30 PM EST at the Energy Innovation Center. This inspiring event marked a celebration of 25 years of BUILDing legacy and impact, highlighting the incredible journey of BUILD since its inception in the Bay Area in 1999 and its expansion to Pittsburgh in 2021.

 

 

The event commenced with an opening reception that featured a gallery walk showcasing the innovative ideas of our Semi-Finalists. This provided attendees with a chance to engage directly with the young entrepreneurs and explore their projects up close. Semi-Finalist Presenters included:

  • Peaceful State; McKeesport Senior High School

  • T.S.Z. 3.6.0. Vision; Monessen Junior-Senior High School

  • Preventors; Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy

 

Celebrating Student Entrepreneurs

The highlight of the evening was the final round of competition. After more than 40 teams from local high schools and community organizations entered the competition in April, three finalist teams presented their pitches in front of a panel of VIP judges and an enthusiastic audience of one-hundred BUILD community members. The stakes were high, with cash prizes and start-up funds on the line.



Highlights

BUILDFest SWPA 2024

After a series of compelling presentations, the top prize was awarded to Team Food Preservers from Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy for their groundbreaking pitch on an innovative food preservation system that can be inserted into fridges and extend the life of fresh foods in any household. Their in-depth research and thorough business plan impressed the judges and secured their spot as the 2024 Southwestern PA Youth Pitch Champions.

 

Also honored during the event was Melissa Selko, Business education teacher at Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy, who received the BNY Mellon Leadership Award for outstanding commitment to education. The event underscored the remarkable talent and creativity of the youth in our community, as well as the dedication of BUILD Pittsburgh’s teachers. It was a true celebration of young entrepreneurs who are poised to make a significant impact in their respective fields.

Team Food Preservers

Their groundbreaking pitch introduced an innovative food preservation system designed to be inserted into refrigerators, effectively extending the lifespan of fresh foods in any household.

 

 

Team Drake

Team Drake’s Animation from Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship took 2nd place with their AI assistant for animators

 

Team Zapped

3rd place was Team Zapped from Northgate Senior High School’s alarm clock watch using e-stim technology.

 

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VIDEO PREPARATION GUIDELINES

HOW TO RECORD

1. iPhone, iPad, Zoom and Loom are all choices of recording tools for their video presentation 
2. Record with both students and their presentation in view
3. Record horizontally for the best view of the students and their presentation
4. Follow Presentation Diagram to the Right

PRESENTATION TIPS.

- Make eye contact with the camera
- Notecards may be used as cue cards
•Pro Tip: Notecards should avoid having a full script
- Even when you are not speaking, don’t forget the camera is still recording!
•Be aware of your body language while you and your business partners are speaking
- Everyone has an opportunity to speak
- Professional dress is encouraged
- Practice makes perfect
•Practice how you will transition from each speaker
•Project your voice when you speak​

Follow positioning format Above

Download a Sample of Our Curriculum

Fill out this form to receive a free sample of our curriculum and to receive occasional email updates on how to bring BUILD to your community.