SPECIAL TO THE DAYTONA TIMES
Stetson University School of Business Administration junior Deja Robinson of Titusville won first place and $10,000 during the 2020 Cairns Foundation Innovation Challenge. The firstplace prize includes a one-year resident enrollment in the University of Central Florida Volusia County Business Incubator.
This is the third consecutive year that Stetson has won first place during the business pitch competition.
“Winning first place in the 2020 Cairns Foundation Innovation Challenge provided me with validation,” said Robinson. “I knew I had a strong idea and was happy that the judges saw and understood my vision.”
Lou Paris, MBA, director of Stetson’s Prince Entrepreneurship Leaders Program., noted: “This event is an opportunity for economic development organizations to retain talent in the region and start and grow companies locally.
“Winning this competition three years in a row shows that Stetson University has leaders in the School of Business Administration who are exceptional in teaching entrepreneurial skills.”
Robinson, an entrepreneurship and management student at Stetson, submitted her YuubiHire social media startup business plan and was selected as one of the top six contestants to move forward and compete during a live pitch event via Zoom on Aug. 20.
Robinson’s business name, YuubiHire, is a play on words and derived from being your authentic self: You be you and get hired.
Stetson University’s Prince Entrepreneurship Leaders Program coached and prepared Robinson for the competition by providing her with advice and tips for creating the business pitch for YuubiHire. Robinson’s diligent preparedness, entrepreneurial passion and stand-out business pitch helped her win the competition.
The company is a portfoliobased social media platform geared toward college students who want to build their resume and small businesses that are seeking entry-level talent.
Robinson plans to use her winnings to create a beta version that is accessible on all devices, promote her business and partner with colleges and universities.
“The online competition was a fun opportunity for entrepreneurship students to practice and hone their pitching skills and obtain feedback,” said Robinson, who appreciates the foundation’s funding. “Receiving $10,000 to develop my business shows that the judges felt that my idea is profitable and has the potential to succeed.”
For the past 17 years, the Cairns Foundation in Ormond Beach has funded numerous educational projects. The organization launched the Cairns Foundation Innovation Challenge in 2014 to support future entrepreneurs.
Besides Stetson, the online pitch competition included Daytona State College and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University students presenting 10-minute business pitches and participating in a question-and-answer session with a panel of judges.