E-celerator Bluejay Tank Competition

The Bluejay Tank seeks to provide an exciting, educational experience while challenging students’ creativity and entrepreneurship skills. With $3,000 in prizes at stake, the winners can use their prizes to accelerate their innovative ideas to the next phase of development.

The semester’s pitch will be held Monday April 10 on-campus in the Frick center, Prospect Room from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.– please see below for help to be the best of the best on your idea and presentation.

How to Submit Your Idea

The submission deadline for the Spring 2023 Bluejay Tank competition is Monday April 3 at noon. But don’t wait to start perfecting your pitch! When you are ready, submit your pitch idea via the easy one-page form linked below. Email the completed form to entrepreneurs@elmhurst.edu.


The top pitch ideas chosen by a panel will advance to the final pitch competition for a maximum total of 7 contestants.

Pitch Competition and Workshops

  • First pitch workshop in-person 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m., Library Lower Level 016 to cover your idea and submission form and expectations, Wednesday March 22.
  • Second workshop is to be held via zoom from 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m., Friday March 31.
  • Pitch competition will be in-person on April 10 in Frick Center, Prospect Room from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m

You must be present to pitch and win, and must attend the whole event. Pitching order will be selected by random. The entrepreneur in residence will be on call to custom help you with your pitches and idea if needed all the way up to the event.

View the Spring 2023 Bluejay Tank Competition.

Prize Winners

First Place ($1,500): Venezia Munoz
  • Proposed Innovation: Vivid Existence, a personalized, customizable apparel brand for creative expression.
Second Place ($1,000): Miftha Syed and Aaliya Khaja
  • Proposed Innovation: Instapark, an app to help students find parking spots.
Third Place ($500): Rafiul Islam Zareef
  • Proposed Innovation: Storyboard Inc., a web writing timeline application with interactive UX designs.

About the Bluejay Tank Competition

The main goal of this contest is to educate students on the process of developing a well-organized presentation on a creative business idea, social enterprise or non-profit organization. Just because you present an idea does not mean that you have to pursue its creation.

Who is Eligible?
  • Students who have a creative business, social enterprise or non-profit organization idea(s)
  • Students who want to learn more about the process of pitching an entrepreneurial idea
  • Students interested in enhancing their presentation skills
  • Students who want to demonstrate their ability to clearly communicate an idea to a group
  • Students who are looking for support for their opportunity
  • Students who want to compete for prizes

Any current Elmhurst University student from any area of study is welcome to participate in the competition.

Previous Winners

Fall 2023
First Place ($1,500): Angel Garcia
  • Proposed Innovation: Bluejay Hatchlings: The Elmhurst Experience, a college preparation program.
Second Place ($1,000): Jessica Pavliukovecas
  • Proposed Innovation: TuneUp, a car service app.
Third Place ($500): Miftha Syed and Aaliya Khaja
  • Proposed Innovation: Instapark, an app to help students find parking spots.
Spring 2022
First Place ($1,500): Mark Picardi
  • Proposed Innovation: College Cleaners, kits of pre-packaged cleaning supplies delivered directly to college students at move-in time.
Second Place ($1,000): Lukas Munoz
  • Proposed Innovation: The Bluejay Nest, a non-profit, student-led campus food pantry.
Third Place ($500): Alec Goldberg
  • Proposed Innovation: Label Up, a support hub for aspiring record labels.
Fall 2021
First Place ($1,500): Christian Vanstedum
  • Proposed Innovation: Spark, a unique dating app
Second Place ($1,000): Lauren Laughlin
  • Proposed Innovation: Equitable Health, a health care advocate for the LGBTQ community.
Third Place ($500): Mark Picardi
  • Proposed Innovation: College Cleaners, pre-packaged cleaning supplies targeted to college students.
Spring 2021
First Place ($1,500): Mallory Burke
  • Proposed Innovation: Grill Girlz
    GrillGirlz is a BBQ grill deep-cleaning service designed to service the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana areas.
Second Place ($1,000): Matthew Gans
  • Proposed Innovation: MGProductions
    A student-owned and -operated photo/video marketing company that uses a superior knowledge of market wants and needs to make a company’s products stand out from the crowd.
Third Place ($500): Luis Chavez
  • Proposed Innovation: Scanology
    This online tool provides a multitude of helpful services to high school and college students. With a simple interface and how-to guide, Scanology scans school transcripts to help students find colleges and scholarships based on their academic success and school likings. This online tool also provides a free resume and scanner that provides quick feedback.
Fall 2020
First Place: Michael Foytlin
  • Proposed Innovation: New Age Solutions
    An automated, efficient, and intelligent tool that greatly aids new grads in finding employment through automated LinkedIn networking.
Second Place: Jasmine Lillis
  • Proposed Innovation: Walking Through History
    This exercise app notifies the user when they are close to historical sites, and the more locations they visit the more points they can accrue to gain discount codes to local businesses and restaurants.
Third Place: Vanessa Sevilla
  • Proposed Innovation: United Leadership Pathway
    The United Leadership Pathway is a non-profit organization, designed to develop undergraduate leaders across the country, and give colleges an extra edge by bringing the community together through shared connections and mutual ties.

Martin Gahbauer, M.Ed.

Executive Director
Russell G. Weigand Center for Professional Excellence

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