Hood College Pitch Competition

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The Hood College Pitch Competition Provides a Platform for Hood Students and Alumni to Pitch Their Product/Service Amongst a Network of Hood Alumni, Judges, and Fellow Entrepreneurs to Fund and Highlight Hood-Founded Ventures.

The Hood Pitch Competition (HPC) is part of Hood College Business School in collaboration with Spotluck, KBE Building, FITC, and Flying Dog Brewery that will take place on April 26th, 2018. In order to compete, the team or individual must be present and able to deliver their pitch during the evening of Thursday, April 26th; inability to do so will result in disqualification.

In the first round of competition, applicants will be assessed based on their online submission and business deck. Those who advance to the semi-finals will be notified by HPC Committee Chair, Cherian Thomas by Friday February 26th, 2018.


  • Deadline for Applicants: February 10th, 2018 by 11:59pm.

  • Semi-Finalists Selected for Screening: February 26th, 2018  

  • Finalist Announced: March 6th, 2018

  • Finalist / Pitch Contest Thursday, April 26th 2018 at 6:30pm


Hodson Auditorium, Rosenstock Hall
401 Rosemont Ave, Frederick MD 21701


Name *
Contact #:
Contact #:


A “pitch” verbally outlines an entrepreneurial concept or idea in a short period of time. It is eight minutes in duration. A successful pitch requires significant prior thought and research, and culminates in the ability to clearly and succinctly highlight the most compelling aspects of a proposed venture.


• What is the product or service you are pitching?

• Is there a need for this offering in the market?

• Who is the potential target market?

• What is the total addressable market size?

• What key differentiators separate you from the competition?

• How does your business monetize?

• The Ask. How much seed capital is needed?

• Traction. What have you accomplished to date?


Participants are to complete the online submission form below in addition to emailing their pitch deck to cherian@spotluck.com by February 10th 2018.

On or before February 26th 2018 the HPC Committee will evaluate submissions and pitch decks to determine six applicants that advance to the semi finals.

Semifinalists will be contacted to schedule a pre-screening pitch in person or via screen share.
HPC and Chair to will select four finalists to compete (and present) in front of expert judges during The Hood Pitch Contest on April 26th, 2018.


The pitch deck should be an 8-10 slide PDF or PowerPoint surrounding your concept or idea. While the oral presentation may involve the use of props, slides, or other visual material, the pitch deck must stand on its own without a written business plan.


The Hood Pitch Competition is exclusive to members of the Hood College and its Graduate School, both current students and alumni. Your team must include one (at minimum) Hood College student or alumni. The competition is open to both graduate and undergraduate students.


Finalist will be given eight (8) minutes minutes with expert judges to pitch their idea or concept and five (5) minutes for Q&A with the judges in front of a live audience.

Teams will be able to use PowerPoint, visual aids, props, or other items during their pitch; while visual material may be used, the presentation must stand on its own without a written business plan.


Winning individuals and teams will receive guidance, financial support, and in-kind contributions in order to move their venture forward.

There will be $8,500 in cash prizes distributed to the top three teams. The cash prizes listed below are for the entire team, not for individual team members. Prizes will be allocated as follows:
• First Place: $5,000
• Second Place: $2,500
• Third Place: $1,000


Confidentiality is not guaranteed in any way. If a team wishes to keep elements of their concept or idea confidential, the team should not include that information in their pitch. There is no way for Hood College, its affiliates, event sponsors or organizers to enforce a prohibition of other competitors, audience members or judges who see or hear a pitch from sharing the concept, idea, and/or materials with others.

By participating in the Hood Pitch Competition competitors agree that Hood College Business School and all related parties assume no liability, and shall have no liability or obligation whatsoever for disclosures of information provided by a competitor as part of a submission or otherwise during the course of the competition.

Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) between a competitor and the judges and/or audience members will not be required or allowed.


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Eric Brown, LEED AP

Senior Vice President of Operations | Principal, KBE Building Corporation

Eric Brown graduated with honors from Babson College where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting in 1984. Babson places a significant focus on entrepreneurship and is currently ranked as the No. 1 undergraduate program for entrepreneurs by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. During his time there, Eric prepared for the challenges of leading a business. After an early stint in residential construction and development where Eric gained hands-on experience, he was hired as the Chief Estimator at KBE Building Corporation. In 2007, Eric acquired the firm with two partners, and today, he is responsible for leading the company’s mid-Atlantic office located in Columbia, MD. Eric has completed a number of residential and commercial developments as an equity partner. He also serves as a board member for various companies and non-profit organizations.


Brad Sayler

Co-Founder & COO of Spotluck

Brad Sayler co-founded Spotluck in 2014 along with Cherian Thomas. He currently oversees all day-to-day operations at the company, and previously served as CFO until February 2018. Prior to Spotluck, he practiced law at Eversheds Sutherland where he focused on corporate governance, corporate securities, mergers and acquisitions from 2009-2014. Brad began his career earning a CPA while consulting for Fortune 500 companies at Protiviti. Through his experience, he has gained deep knowledge in startup modeling, early stage funding, scaling operations, user acquisition/engagement and a variety of platforms needed to run an efficient tech business.


Jim Caruso

General Partner & CEO of Flying Dog Brewery

Jim Caruso, General Partner & CEO of Flying Dog Brewery, has led the company since its founding 25 years ago.  Prior to Flying Dog Brewery, Jim served as president of a publicly-traded company, then unleashed his entrepreneurial spirit as co-owner and president of a business that renovated historic buildings in core urban areas across the country, transforming them into brewpubs and contributing to those city centers.  Jim holds BA and MA degrees in economics and also a degree in brewing.