STAR TEC: IDEA Camp Helps Innovators Make Pitch

The innovation and entrepreneurship center known as STAR TEC has found yet another way to help innovators and entrepreneurs get their ventures closer to market. IDEA camp, the brainchild of STAR TEC, is a full-day workshop for innovators and entrepreneurs to work on their project, and more importantly their pitch.

"The participants work through their day to define who their customers are as well as the benefits and value attributes they offer with their venture," says Danielle Weitlauf, TEC launch manager at STAR TEC. "By the end of the day, each attendee has a 90-second pitch developed, which they give to a panel of industry experts, investment professionals and product developers."

The last IDEA camp was held on March 25th and focused on web ventures. The camp was held at St. Petersburg College Collaborative Labs. "The labs are a dynamic, interactive space full of technology, whiteboards and moveable components, which help spur creativity in the individuals," Weitlauf says. "The space gives participants the opportunity to work on their pitches and help each other."

The camp also includes speakers who have successfully pitched their ideas to others in hopes of making it to market.

"We had Ian Ippolito who developed the website, speak on 'defining your market'," Weitlauf says. "Another speaker, Ricardo Lasa, spoke about his time pitching his web venture around the U.S. to capital investors over the last year."

At the end of the day, several of the presenters received great praise from the panel, including Joe Falanga of, Tony Duda of and Jeffrey Baird of

"Our panelists offer great insight and expertise to help these innovators with their pitch," Weitlauf says. "The pitches help build the groundwork for possible funding of these projects in the future."
The next IDEA camp will be held in the fall of 2011.

Writer: Kimberly Patterson
Source: Danielle Weitlauf, STAR TEC

Read more articles by Kimberly Patterson.

Kimberly Patterson is a news editor for 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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