Student Innovation at Wheaton College's ThunderPitch Competition

CRC Supports Student Innovation at Wheaton College’s ThunderPitch Competition

By jborthwick

Cleveland Research Company proudly co-sponsored the 3rd annual ThunderPitch competition at Wheaton College in April, showcasing student innovation and entrepreneurial ideas.

ThunderPitch is a business pitch competition for Wheaton students. Steven Ball, set to join CRC this summer as an equity research intern, claimed one of the event’s top prizes. 

ThunderPitch began in 2021 as part of a class requirement. It has since evolved into a platform open to all Wheaton College students with entrepreneurial aspirations.

Five teams gathered in Barrows Auditorium on Monday, April 22, pitching their business ideas to a live audience and a panel of four judges.

CRC’s Chief Executive Officer and Wheaton alum, Eric Bosshard, provided an introduction before the event officially kicked off Monday evening. A total of $8,000 in prizes were up for grabs, including:

  • Anderson Prize: $3,000 – Grand Prize
  • Mastadon Prize: $2,000 – High Impact Idea
  • Wheatie Prize: $2,000 – Most Likely to Succeed
  • Thunder Prize: $1,000 – People’s Choice Award
Cleveland Research Team attending Wheaton's ThunderPitch. Pictured are Katya Schwenk, Steven Ball, and Eric Bosshard
Pictured left to right: Katya Schwenk (Recruitment Coordinator), Steven Ball (2024 Intern), and Eric Bosshard (CEO)

Audience members were able to select the Thunder Prize winner by voting for their favorite pitch.

Ball and his teammates Caleb Titherington and Sean Sisco, secured the Mastadon Prize of $2,000. Ball says he found presenting to a panel of distinguished judges both insightful and challenging.

“Their unique insights and diverse perspectives were invaluable in thinking through potential issues we may face if this business idea came to fruition. Also, having a few hundred people watching in the audience certainly put our presentation skills to the test!” he said. “In the Q&A following our presentation, we faced some pretty tough questions from the judges. It was a moment that truly tested our collective ability to think quickly on our feet, a skill I believe will be imperative in any business environment.”

CRC’s involvement in ThunderPitch goes beyond sponsorship, reflecting a commitment to guiding talent and supporting student innovation.

“The whole CRC team has been wonderful in the lead-up to my internship this summer, and I am grateful for their help along the way,” Ball said.

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