Future Founders Announces Semifinalists for U.Pitch 2019

Future Founders, a non-profit organization that believes every youth can become an entrepreneur, today announced the 18 semifinalists for its 6th Annual U.Pitch National Collegiate Elevator Pitch Competition & Showcase – Presented by EY.

U.Pitch brings together the top collegiate entrepreneurs from universities across the country for the ultimate elevator pitch competition. Finalists will compete for a share of a $10,000 prize pool by pitching to a panel of judges comprised of seasoned entrepreneurs and investors. The event will take place on Thursday, November 14 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm at 1871 (222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212, Chicago). 

Tickets to attend the event are available for purchase here: https://futurefoundersupitch2019.eventbrite.com.

“We are excited to showcase a diverse pool of talented collegiate entrepreneurs who are creating game-changing businesses across the country,” said Scott Issen, President & CEO, Future Founders. “Year after year, Future Founders is proud that U.Pitch serves as a platform to celebrate the innovation and the impact these young entrepreneurs are making in our world.” 

“EY is a firm believer that entrepreneurs are vital to empowering economic growth. Not only do they have great ideas, but they possess the drive to make those ideas a reality, and create positive social change along the way,” said Ram Ramanan, Illinois Growth Market Leader, Ernst & Young LLP and Future Founders Board Member. “EY is proud to support the ideas and entrepreneurs of tomorrow through our sponsorship of the 2019 Future Founders U.Pitch Collegiate Elevator Pitch Competition & Showcase.”

U.Pitch begins with a private semifinals round of 18 pitches, and the six top entrepreneurs move on to a public finals round. During the finals, contestants will have 90 seconds to pitch their business ideas to a live audience, plus field questions from our distinguished judges. The full list of judges for the event will be released in the coming weeks.

Previous U.Pitch winners include Quevos, SnapClips, SwineTech, Inc., Seed Slide, and Sokowatch.

Congratulations to the 2019 U.Pitch Semifinalists!

  • Robert Castro, Advanced Water Testing, LLC, Colorado College (CO)
  • Erica Cole, No Limbits, University of Iowa (IA)
  • Molly D’Agostino, Our Song Co., Syracuse University (NY)
  • Kyle Dymanus, R6 Industries, Medical College of Georgia (GA)
  • Clair Friona, Agricycle Global, Milwaukee School of Engineering (WI)
  • Kyle Gillis, Iconic AIR, West Virginia University (WV)
  • Robert Hatcher, Soundcollide, Georgia State University (GA)
  • Rodney Lafuente Mercado, StrattyX, Harvard University (MA)
  • Alissa Lopez, famlido, Seton Hall University (NJ)
  • Shanee Lu, Qubit, Cornell University (NY)
  • Robert Luo, Mi Terro Global Inc., University of Southern California (CA)
  • Mason Mincey, SOAR Composites LLC, University of Central Florida (FL)
  • Gabe Price, Earnest Earth Agriculture, Inc., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (IL)
  • Marley Rosario, Modern Reliance, University of Chicago (IL)
  • Tania Speaks, Brow Boost, Hofstra University (NY)
  • Jonathan Truong, Verapy, LLC, University of Tampa (FL)
  • David Zaleski, Bingo Pet Company, DePaul University (IL)


The final slot was awarded to a finalist in the 36th Annual Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) Global Pitch Competition: Caitie Gehlhausen, Socket Lock-It, High Point University (NC)

In addition to the competition, all U.Pitch semifinalists will participate in an expo-style showcase, where guests can engage with these talented young entrepreneurs and learn more about their ideas and businesses.

U.Pitch is one of the opportunities Future Founders offers to support aspiring and existing collegiate entrepreneurs. This work is generously supported by Motorola Solutions Foundation (Founding Organizational Sponsor), Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Capital One, The Coleman Foundation, Google.org, Keywell Foundation, EY, The John E. & Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation, ChicagoNEXT, Jack and Goldie Wolfe Miller Fund, and World Business Chicago.

Join us on November 14 for this special event. Register at: https://futurefoundersupitch2019.eventbrite.com.