More Information

St. John’s Students Sweep International Pitch Competition in Taipei, Taiwan

Taiwan 2018
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Facing students from various prestigious universities from all over the world, students from St. John’s University finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th in the International Council for Small Business 2018 Academy Pitch Competition on June 29, 2018 in Taipei, Taiwan.

The St. John’s delegation consisted of 5 students from 4 out of the 5 undergraduate schools of St. John’s University. Fabian Givens and Jennifer Grocki from the College of Professional Studies, Ariel Metayer from St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Yasmin Lall from The Peter J. Tobin College of Business and Krist Sokoli from The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. These students were asked to split up and join teams with other international students and competed against each other.

Our students worked with and competed with other students from various universities such as Rowan University in New Jersey, Taipei Tech in Taiwan, The University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern in Germany, Aalto University in Finland, and several leading Taiwanese Universities.

The competition was the culmination of a semester long program called the St. John’s University Global Development Entrepreneurship Program (GDP) sponsored by the College of Professional Studies.

“The Global Development Entrepreneurship Program (GDP) was a semester-long program for undergraduate and graduate students. Students developed their own entrepreneurial ventures/businesses, enhanced them in connection with the UN Development Goals and pitched their ideas in an International Pitch Competition during the 63rd International Council for Small Business World Congress in Taipei, Taiwan” said Kevin James, Assistant Dean and Associate Director of Operations in the College of Professional Studies.

ICSB is the oldest and largest international network of experts and researchers on Small Businesses. The ICSB academy is a leading global entrepreneurial bootcamp started in 2015 by Luca Iandoli, ICSB past president and Associate Dean for Global and Online Programs at CPS. Dr. Iandoli served as the Executive Director of the 2018 edition on behalf of ICSB and was a member of the Academy Global Faculty. Assistant Dean James and Neil Feinstein, Assistant Professor, Division of Mass Communications coached our St. John’s students and taught in the ICSB Academy.

“This was a tremendous experience for the students from so many angles.” said Neil Feinstein, Assistant Professor, College of Professional Studies. “They were on a global stage pitching their business ideas to professionals in business and academia from all over the world. With this intense pressure, everyone of them was a rock star. The icing on the cake? They got to do it in Taiwan.”  

The GDP was a formal enhancement that built upon the success of our students last year at the 2017 ICSB Pitch Competition where our students made it to the finals. Students were chosen through a rigorous application process which they submitted a business idea and if the committee liked the idea, they pitched it to them. “The program was open to all St. John’s students. This year we wanted our students to act as leaders, who had ideas and would contribute to the Academy and the formal competition.” said Assistant Dean James

“The College of Professional Studies is intensifying its effort to expand its offer of entrepreneurship education opportunities for our students through international and prestigious partnerships such as the one with the International Council for Small Business and others currently in development with European Universities” said Dr. Iandoli.

“I am extremely proud of this accomplishment, the university success in this international competition, reflects our commitment to enhance innovation and entrepreneurship on a global scale. I thank Dr. Iandoli, Professor Neil Feinstein and Assistant Dean Kevin James for their outstanding work and leadership!” said Katia Passerini, Ph.D., PMP, Dean, College of Professional Studies.