Pitch Perfect Competition

Photo of students with giant checks

Dean Scott Dawson with PolyProjects student team (2015).

A partnership with Orfalea College of Business and Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Kennedy Library and Orfalea College of Business hosted the 7th annual Pitch Perfect Competition (2014-2015) in partnership with the Cal Poly Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Through the generosity of Orfalea College of Business, the competition offered $25,000 in prizes and funding to make students’ big ideas a reality.

Want to know about the 2015-2016 competition? Check back soon!

What kind of big idea?

Consider yourself a consultant to Kennedy Library. How do you foster cross-campus collaboration at Cal Poly?

Background: Early in your Cal Poly career you often work in teams with colleagues from many majors. Together you create ideas, invent products and solve problems. In your later years at Cal Poly, you may find yourself mostly working with colleagues in the same or closely related major.

Interdisciplinary collaboration isn’t just important while you’re at Cal Poly. It’s also important in your future careers, when you’ll be working in diverse teams.

Challenge: This year’s competition theme is about how Kennedy Library can foster interdisciplinary collaboration at Cal Poly. Your ideas could be about developing a space, app, event, resource collection, tools… You decide! This is about your big idea.

What do students gain from the competition?

In addition to the potential $25,000 in prizes and funding, participating in the Pitch Perfect Competition is a way to build your professional portfolio by documenting your process and building your career readiness.

What’s different about this year’s competition?

In previous years, Pitch Perfect was a video competition. Now there is funding for you to implement the ideas you pitch in your 60-second video! If you choose, the video is the just first phase of the new, expanded Pitch Perfect Competition.

Competition in three rounds

Round 1: Pitch

Submit a 60-second video pitch about how Kennedy Library can foster interdisciplinary collaboration. This could be through developing a space, service, app or event, for example. Deadline: February 23, 2015 at 11:59PM. Winners are expected to attend an informal awards ceremony on March 11, 3-4PM in the atrium at Kennedy Library. $4,000 in prizes are available this round.

Round 2: Plan

All applicants to Round 1 are invited (but not required) to write a one-page business canvas for the idea they pitched in their videos. Deadline: April 20, 2015. One canvas is selected as a winner and awarded an additional $1,000.

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will host an information session on how to write a business canvas on Thursday, April 2 during UU Hour (11am-12pm) in the Entrepreneurship Ideation Lab (Bldg. 2 Rm. 206) for interested Round 1 applicants. Students who complete Round 2 will also be considered for the SLO Hot House Accelerator Program.

Round 3: Incubate

The student or team who submits the winning business plan works with library staff and faculty on developing their idea during summer quarter 2015. This may involve developing a prototype, collaborating with a vendor or otherwise finding creative ways to implement a new idea. A $20,000 budget is available.

Students from every college are encouraged to apply!

Video awards and criteria

Judging criteria

A panel of judges from the Cal Poly community will select the video winners from qualified entries. Videos will be judged on the following: 1) relevance to challenge theme 2) plot, cohesion and audience appeal, and 3) technical merit, filming, editing and creativity. Categories:

  • Best Overall: $1,000
  • President’s Pick: $850
  • Best of Orfalea: $750
  • Most Creative: $700
  • Fan Fave: $700

Winners will be awarded giant checks in an informal awards ceremony on March 11, 3-4PM in the atrium at Kennedy Library.

The judges reserve the right not to award a prize. The judges’ decision is final.

60-Second Video Guidelines and Rules

One entry per person or group. All entries must be submitted online. Each person appearing in the video must sign the release agreement.

Important: Download the release agreement now! You’ll need to upload the signed release agreement signed by everyone who appears in the video at the same time you upload your video.


• Made by Cal Poly students enrolled full or part time in 2015.
• No more than 60 seconds total running time.
• Submitted in the .MOV or .WMV formats
• 640 x 480 resolution or higher.
• In English or include English subtitles.
• Submitted by 11:59PM (PST) February 23, 2015.


You must be the original author of everything in your video or have evidence of written permission to use copyright-protected material.

Submissions using non-licensed, copyrighted musical, visual, or literary properties without legal permission are ineligible. This includes music. Each person appearing in your video must sign the release agreement.

Students are expected to compete in the spirit of the Mustang Way. Students may not, for example, purchase votes on social media as part of the competition. If students are suspected of purchasing votes, they will be disqualified.

Get help

For technical questions or assistance contact Patrick Kammermeyer. For general questions contact Karen Lauritsen.

Borrow laptops, iPads and more
Available at the Poly Connect Computer Lab (Kennedy Library, first floor near entrance)

Cal Poly Media Distribution Services
Cal Poly students can check out equipment

2015 winners

2015 theme: How can Kennedy Library foster interdisciplinary collaboration at Cal Poly?

Round 1: Pitch

Students from every college were invited to submit a 60-second video pitch about how Kennedy Library can foster interdisciplinary collaboration. Learn more about the Round 1 video winners in a recap and interview on our blog.

Round 2: Plan

All applicants from Round 1 were invited to write a one-page business canvas for the idea they pitched in their videos. They presented their canvases to a team of judges at the Hot House in April. CoLab was selected as the winner and received an additional $1,000.

Round 3: Incubate

Together with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship we’re working with PolyProjects in fall 2015 and beyond. This tool supports student connection and collaboration across the disciplines, a goal we share.

“PolyProjects” by Kathryn Cassidy

“Expand” by David Quiray

“CoLab” by Ashlee Lam


“Brilliant Minds” by Sean Christensen

“PolyPaths” by Jenna Hoffman

2014 winners

2014 theme: You’re the consultant. What opportunities do you see to improve services through partnership and innovation?

“Hands On” by Jenna Hoffman

“Spark” by Paige Thornley

“The Brightest Minds” by Sarah Islas

“A Beautiful Mind” by Tiffany Kinson

“PolyProjects” by Kathryn Cassidy

More about the winners

2013 winners

2013 theme: You’re an imagination architect. Imagine your dream library.

“Kennedy is my Boyfriend” by Lindsey Lewis

“DayDreamers” by Sven Le

“Finding Home” by Russell Holliday and Matt Erich

“My Dream Library” by Chelsea Kitta

More about the winners

2012 winners

2012 theme: Make a pitch for Kennedy Library in 60 seconds.

“Sanctuary” by Andrew Mai (LAES)

“Study Meets Play” by Ruben Custodio (GRC)

“Why We Love Kennedy Library” by Darryl Williams (BUS)

More about the winners

2011 winners

2011 theme: Kennedy Library—Thirty years in the making. What’s next?

“Time Flies” by Buddy Bump

“Marley’s Angels” by Ruben Custodio

“The Most Interesting Man in the Library” by Miles Fairchild

2010 winners

2010 theme: Hidden treasures within Kennedy Library

“Priceless” by Paul Cha

“Living in the Kennedy Library” by Colin McGuire

2009 winners

2009 was the first year of the video competition. See the winning entries on the Cal Poly You Tube Channel.

Winning Videos

  • “Home Sweet Home,” Kirsten Peterson, Director
  • “March to the Library,” Mike Deagen, Director
  • “Cal Poly Film Club Video,” Vicki Lindem, Director