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Saturday, September 30, 2023


Quick pitch nets trip to Windy City

Some people can’t seem to catch a break. John Nicklos, on the other hand, can’t seem to break his lucky streak.’

Nicklos won an iPod at UH’s The Cat’s Back event Aug. 26, and Tuesday he beat seven others to win the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Elevator Pitch Competition.

Nicklos won the competition with his idea of a miniature golf course company that would allow people to create their ideal course online. Nicklos’ team would then go to customers’ homes and build the course.

‘ ‘I had about a million ideas, literally, and this just happened to be the one that I knew a lot of people would believe in, a lot of people would be able to relate to and that I could pitch to somebody in a minute and a half,’ Nicklos said.

The competition, which took place at the C.T. Bauer College of Business, required candidates to pitch their business ideas in 90 seconds to a panel of Houston entrepreneurs, with the winner receiving a free trip to Chicago for CEO’s National Elevator Pitch Convention in front of 50 fellow CEO chapters.’

However, Nicklos was only hoping to impress the people at the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship.

‘I was able to do it in front of some people that are a part of the Wolff Center so they get to see how professional I am,’ Nicklos said.

He didn’t think he had much of a chance of winning, but a small boost of confidence can go a long way.

‘ ‘The day of the event, I wrote my pitch (and) started memorizing it,’ Nicklos said. ‘When I presented my (practice) pitch to (the judges), they told me it’s one of the best they’ve ever heard; at that point I knew that there’s a possibility that I might win.’

The eight candidates brought diverse business ideas in areas ranging from real estate to youth empowerment to culinary expression.’

‘ ‘Investors don’t just look for business to invest in,’ panel judge Hubert Vaz-Nayak said. ‘They look for people they can invest in.’

CEO’s next meeting is Oct. 6 and takes place in the UC Underground Aegeon Room 82.

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