Students ‘Duke it Out’ at annual business pitch competition

BLOOMINGTON –The Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus hosted its fourth annual Duke It Out Business Pitch Competition on Tuesday, Nov. 12, powered by Duke Energy.

Six Ivy Tech students had three minutes each to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges. The winners with the top three pitches earned cash prizes up to $500 and free business consulting from the Cook Center for Entrepreneurship.

Haddie Katz, associate of science in nursing (RN) student, won first place. She was awarded a $500 prize for her business idea – a Bloomington-based midwifery birthing center. Colin Baugh, human services and social work student, won second place. She was awarded $300 for her business idea – Mrs. Bs Micro-Catering (weeknight meal delivery for families). Bree Page, human services student, won third place. She was awarded $200 for her business idea, B.R.I.T.E. (Building Résumés & Information Technology Experience). It is a non-profit business designed to assist the transient population in Bloomington, Ind. become skilled in developing IT and related job skills.

Ivy Tech students from all academic areas were invited to apply for a spot to Duke It Out. The competitors attended workshops at the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship and were coached by Cook Center staff and area entrepreneurs.

Competitors are studying in a variety of academic programs from software development to supply chain management. Business ideas included a small-scale catering company, a medical storage product, a nonprofit for IT education, a midwifery birthing center, a production company, and for-profit college dormitories.

Duke it Out judges are Jim Silberstein, entrepreneurship program chair emeritus; Dr. Sydney Mmadi, entrepreneurship program chair and associate professor of business; Allan Buhr, adjunct professor for entrepreneurship; and Christy Page, adjunct professor for entrepreneurship.

For more information about the event, contact Jack Dreesen at or visit