Three Quinnipiac students finish among top 20 in prestigious national pitch competition

October 31, 2021

Marina Hanlon, Meghan Crocetto, and Dominick DeNuncio

Eight Quinnipiac students are among the 100 participants selected to compete in the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s 2021 “Becoming Agents of Change” pitch competition — and three were selected among the top 20!

Marina Hanlon, a junior entrepreneurship major, Meghan Crocetto, a first-year entrepreneurship major in the 3+1 business program, and Dominic Denuccio, a senior finance major, earned the opportunity to make 5-minute presentations followed by 3 minutes of Q&A from the judges on the next day.

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Throughout the past month, the participants created an online investor pitch deck that included a business model, a business solution and a video pitch. From there, 20 semi-finalists were selected to present their ideas at the CEO’s 38th annual global conference and pitch competition from late last month in Tampa, Florida.

Quinnipiac had the second most finalists of any school in the competition. They were: Nicolas Adams; Meghan Crocetto; Quinn Dallai; Armanie Deleon; Dominic DeNuccio; Kyle Fischer; Marina Hanlon; and Andre Mitrano.

“Quinnipiac is the only school in the country to have had finalists in all of five national business plan competitions, including the CEO’s, and we have done it twice in the last three years,” said Dale Jasinksi, associate professor of entrepreneurship and strategy. “This success at the national level is a great indicator of our students’ abilities and desire to go above and beyond what is required in the classroom to pursue their dreams.”

Adams, a senior entrepreneurship major in the 4+1 business program, pitched “TrashAl,” a venture developing artificial intelligence-powered technology with the ability to sort renewable materials from the trash stream, thereby redefining the trash industry. 

“I was very excited when I found out I had been accepted,” he said. “Having never participated in a competition such as this, it will be a big opportunity and a fantastic learning experience.” 

Crocetto pitched “TechTurn,” an innovative device that aids dancers, figure skaters and gymnasts in improving their turning ability. The turning disc has built-in technology that collects and analyzes data on a person's weight distribution and speed of their turn. The disc also sends the data to an application on smartphones.

“Dance has always been a big part of my life, so I am extremely grateful to be selected because it means my idea is now gaining visibility and has signs of life,” she said.
Dallai, a junior entrepreneurship major in the 3+1 business program, will pitch “Hylite NFT,” an NFT company that sells collectible digital cards featuring players, performers and events in the sports and entertainment industries. The company allows customers to attain rare digital assets that are verified to be unique by a blockchain system.

DeNuccio pitched “2D Soccer,” an e-commerce website that sells soccer fashion and rare athletic sneakers.

"I started 2D in my freshman year at Quinnipiac with the intentions of making it a structured business one day, so it's an amazing feeling to have this opportunity about three years later,” he said. “I'm humbled to learn from others and share some of my own ideas throughout the contest."

Fischer, a sophomore entrepreneurship major, pitched a wearable tech business.
“Being selected means that I can get an opportunity to share my ideas and pursue my dream of building a business that I am proud of,” he said.

Hanlon pitched “Enlightened Eats,” an application for students that promotes healthy eating as conveniently as possible.

“I am honored to be selected,” she said. “I also am very thankful for my peers who have provided constructive feedback over the past year and for my professors who have helped and encouraged me to continue with this idea and make it into a business.”

Mitrano, a senior entrepreneurship major, pitched “Harbor Mate,” an application designed to host boating community events and recreational boating travel information.

“I attended the CEO competition my freshman year as a spectator, and ever since then I have been itching to return and compete myself,” Mitrano said.

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