During his first semester at college Daniel Ponto ’22 learned that first-year inconveniences can lead to entrepreneurial opportunities.
In October 2018, Ponto, a discover business major, competed in the School of Business Administration’s annual entrepreneurial Shark Tank-style elevator pitch contest known as Flyer Pitch.
The contest is comprised of five events including Ponto’s category, a one-minute elevator pitch aimed at fixing a problem. Ponto was the only freshman in his category, surrounded by upperclassmen and community members.
His $1,500 idea? A concept that stemmed from a lack of access to transportation and money, something that most first years can relate to. “It was my second week of college and I was out of shampoo,” Ponto said, as he opened his pitch.
He created the idea of a monthly toiletry delivery service directed toward college students without access to transportation and his pitch landed first place in the competition.
Ponto made an early name for himself as a high school senior by winning the inaugural Future Flyer Pitch Competition, qualifying him for scholarship money over his four years as a University student.
“I used to be really into [the show] Shark Tank, that was kind of how I started to learn about pitching. But I guess I was just trying to solve problems that I have,” Ponto said.
Flyer Pitch is in its 12th year and in that time more than 35 new business ventures have been launched with more than $17.1 million in capital being raised by those businesses.
The competition continues Jan. 6 in China.