Written by on March 14, 2014

6th Annual Pitch Perfect Awards: Student videos explore entrepreneurial library ideas

Everyone gathered around the screen in the atrium on Tuesday, March 11. Most were students, looking excited and nervous. Others were library staff and professors, looking happy and excited. Off to the side were five huge checks to be handed out. This event was a viewing party and check ceremony for the winners of the 6th Annual Orfalea College of Business and Kennedy Library Pitch Perfect Video Competition.

Each student who won created a 60 second (or shorter) video about the library. This year, the students were challenged to:

…create a 60-second pitch for how Kennedy Library can be an entrepreneurial library. You’re the consultant. What opportunities do you see to improve services and raise the profile of your library through partnership and innovation?

The videos included new ideas to make Kennedy Library more efficient and how Kennedy Library can continue to benefit students in innovative ways. Along with recognition for their outstanding work, each student received a cash prize thanks to the generosity of Orfalea.

“This competition challenged everyone to think as entrepreneurs,” said Anna Gold, university librarian.

A great opportunity for students

“This competition is about giving students the opportunity to develop and present their ideas,” said Orfalea College of Business Interim Dean, Doug Cerf.

Jenna Hoffman’s video, “Hands On,” won in two categories. It was selected as the Best Overall by the panel of judges and the Fan Favorite by online voting (more than 675 votes were cast total!). Jenna’s video pitched a more efficient way to pay fines and check out books. She suggested using a system similar to the one in the Rec Center that uses a scan of your hand and a code. Instead of having to carry around your Polycard or a checkbook (to pay fines), you just need your hand, said Jenna.

Jenna and Doug pose for a photo with Jenna's big check.

Jenna’s big check, awarded by Interim Dean Doug Cerf.

“I saw how quick and easy it is to get into the Rec Center with my hand scan and code, so I thought, why not have something like that at the library,” she said.

Winning in not only one but two categories was a big surprise for Jenna, who learned about the competition from library signage. This was just a hobby and I just decided to enter my video, she said.

“I hope this will encourage students to go for opportunities,” said Jenna.

Class projects

This year, Jim Valdez and the students in IT402, Developing and Presenting New Enterprise Strategies were partners in the competition. The class had the option to enter the competition to meet a class requirement for making an entrepreneurial pitch.

In addition, Jack Phelan’s media arts class, HUM 341, Cinematic Process, also had the option to make a video as an assignment option. The competition fit right in with what they were learning about.

“I hope the students learn about effective communication, accurate messaging, creativity, how to tell a story, editing, distributing in a certain way, how to deliver a product. It goes on and on,” Jack said. “[The competition] was an opportunity for more legitimate real world experience.”

After one group of HUM 341 students won, they gave their giant check for Jack to display in his office.

See more photos from the awards on our Flickr. Read all about the competition at Kennedy Library.

A list of the winners:

Best Overall ($1,000) & Fan Favorite ($500): Hands On by Jenna Hoffman

President’s Pick ($750): Spark by Paige Thornley

Best of Orfalea ($500): The Brightest Minds by Sarah Islas

Most Creative ($500):

A Beautiful Mind by Tiffany Kinson

Most Creative ($500):

PolyProjects by Kathryn Cassidy

Read more on cal poly, faculty collaboration, kennedy library, orfalea college of business, pitch perfect, student competition, and video competition.

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