Exceptional Elevator Pitch Sends Students to the Top

Photo of virtual enterprises students
LHS students at LIU
LHS students at LIU 2
Twelve Lynbrook High School students in Dr. Benedict Tieniber’s virtual enterprise class competed in the 2017 Virtual Enterprises International Elevator Pitch Competition at the LIU Entrepreneurship and Leadership Conference on Oct. 27, becoming finalists with their company, “Fuel It.”

The competition included over 80 firms from Long Island with over 1500 students in attendance who shared their ideas and business concepts. Every firm prepared an elevator pitch for their company. Additionally, the students participated in three different panel discussions including Accounting/Finance, Human Resources/Administration and Marketing/IT.

The firm of Lynbrook High School students consisted of Jesse Candel, Francesco Cimato, Benjamin Cohen, Matthew Ferrante, Justin Guevara, Asif Islam, Kyle Kropas, Connor Reichert, Spencer Sundeberg, Samuel Tucker, Gabriella Vogt and Nolan Weinberg. They pitched their company “Fuel It,” an innovative service that delivers gas directly to your car. Through the use of an app, the consumer can schedule a delivery to their location saving a trip to the gas station. The primary goal is to make filling your car as convenient as possible. Led by Chief Executive Officer Tucker, Chief Finance Officer Candel, Chief Operating Officer Weinberg and Chief Marketing Officer Vogt, “Fuel It” purchases gas from distributors to keep prices competitive with local gas stations. It also offers oil changes, tire changes and complementary window washes. 

The four main students were selected through an interview process with Dr. Tieniber, Principal Joseph Rainis, Assistant Principal Salvatore Brescia and Assistant Principal Matthew Sarosy. Each student learned how to prepare and act in a formal business interview, from being dressed up to selling themselves as the best candidate.

To prepare for the competition, the group practiced Day-to-Day Business Dynamics by collaborating with their peers, watched pitches from past Virtual Enterprise finalists and the television show “Shark Tank.” The students identified the strengths and weaknesses of the pitches and created their own pitch using the rubric given by the LIU Post competition. They then worked to simplify the company to be explained in less than 60 seconds and Tucker relentlessly practiced his delivery of the pitch to several students and teachers around the school.

Upon hearing that his students made the final round, Dr. Tieniber felt great. 

“Being a first year team who was determined, enthusiastic and hardworking, I had high expectations for this group and they not only met those expectations, but surpassed them,” he said. “I am very proud of them.”

The students are now preparing for the upcoming Business Plan Competition on Jan. 4 at Farmingdale State College.