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Pilot Pitch Competition at LSUS Encourages Student Innovation

November 12, 2018


SHREVEPORT, LA – LSU-Shreveport (LSUS) and BRF’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP), which specializes in stimulating entrepreneurship opportunities in Northwest Louisiana, have partnered for the second year to bring the Pilot Pitch competition to the LSU-Shreveport campus. The competition is designed to support student innovation and will conclude at the Final Pitch event, which will take place on November 14, 2018 at 3:30pm in the University Center Ballroom. This event is free and open to the public.  

“One of EAP’s objectives is to foster entrepreneurial education at the university level,” said Dave Smith, Executive Director of EAP. “We think the best way to grow an entrepreneurial-minded ecosystem is to expose students to an environment that celebrates their innovation. Through EAP’s Grand Prix college business plan competitions, we are guiding students and young entrepreneurs in growing their businesses, taking them from concept to reality.”

The Pilot Pitch, one of three university business plan competitions that make up the Grand Prix, is open to any student at LSUS. Twenty-nine students with a business idea submitted an application. Students participated in three rounds of workshops with the EAP team members and other advisors, who provided the student competitors with expertise, mentorship and key connections needed to fuel their success.

The top five participants have been selected and will pitch in the final event to a panel of judges comprised of business professionals from the Northwest Louisiana region. The top five are: Amber Sapp (Lawtey, FL), Jaelon Davis (Shreveport, LA), Jasmine Hill (Shreveport, LA), Tafadzwa Mariga (Arlington, TX), and Wiley Graham (Houston, TX). The winner will receive a cash prize, scholarships to Louisiana Startup Prize 2019 and the Patent Academy, plus professional services from EAP. 

“The idea that their entrepreneurial endeavors can someday impact growth and prosperity in their communities is exciting to our students,” said Chancellor Larry Clark. “It’s rewarding to see their confidence build as they can learn in this program what they will need to do to succeed.” 


The Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program, an initiative of BRF, is a public/private partnership between BRF, the Caddo Parish Commission and the City of Shreveport to diversify the regional economy, create jobs and expand the area’s tax base by providing services to innovative startups that have high growth potential. 

Since EAP began in July 2014, the program has screened more than 690 startups and provided services to more than 220 companies.  


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Note to Editor: High resolution professional photos, competition logo, and b-roll available upon request. 

Media Contact: Wendell Riley, Director of Media and Public Relations, LSUS (318) 797-5108 Brian Williams, PR Specialist, BRF/EAP (318) 716-4115

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