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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

‘Study Buddies’ wins Suffolk 10k Idea Pitch Competition

Courtesy of Greta Thurston
Screenshot from the final competition, featuring judges and finalists.

The winner of the Suffolk 10k Idea Pitch Competition is Study Buddies, an online tutoring and mentorship service created by a Junior student, Greta Thurston. The runner-ups were Rosewater Recording and The Paper Bag Mask Foundation.

I am very excited! I could not have done it without the help of my coach Joanna Trainor. We put a lot of time into preparing so I was happy to see the hard work pay off,” said Thurston, a junior majoring in business.

Since February, Suffolk students have been preparing for the Suffolk Ventures 10K Idea Pitch, a competition that required them to make a business pitch for their company to investors who are all Suffolk alumni.

The event was hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship, and the $10,000 top prize was funded by a Suffolk graduates’ company, Green Rabbit. All finalists received $250 in seed money and the opportunity to work with a coach.

“It is a great opportunity for alumni to give back to the community,” said Joanna Trainor, associate director of the Center for Entrepreneurship.

This is the first university-wide competition from the Center of Entrepreneurship. Applicants from all three schools participated in the program, as well as graduate students.

According to Trainor, the competition is similar to the television show “Shark Tank,” where entrepreneurs pitch their business idea to a team of investors. 

The difference between the shark tank and the pitch event is that Suffolk will only look to increase the impact alumni have on the Suffolk community, instead of taking percentages from the students’ company.

“The student pitches were fantastic,” Trainor said. “You saw the impressiveness of the creativity and the ideas from the Suffolk population.”

The finalists were paired with coaches who have graduated from or worked with Suffolk. The groups had five weeks to work together to prepare for the live final pitch.

“I just thought it’d be another great opportunity to work with students and help them,” said Suffolk Finance Professor Kenneth Mooney. 

Trainor also encourages everyone who did not get to be a finalist or a winner, or was not able to apply to try again.

Graduate student Richard Meiklejohn, thanks Professor Joanna for, “taking the time to provide feedback and insights into the application process after her last class in the evening”

On April, 23, the finalists only had three minutes to pitch per team. It was a live stream and opened for the audience to view. Second place winners Noah Stephen Trofimow & Fran Kilinski with the Paper Bag Mask Foundation received a $2,500 Center for Entrepreneurship New Venture Grant. Benjamin Hudak with Rosewater Recording received a $1,000 Center for Entrepreneurship New Venture Grant.

A third-year law student, Michael Cronin said that the only stress that he had was that, “It’s only a three minutes presentation and there’s no Q & A.”

“That’s definitely a concern that doesn’t let me sleep at night sometimes,” said alumni Steven Lopez Toro referring to the final event.

Any prospective or successful entrepreneurs from the Suffolk community can consult with the Center for Entrepreneurship on their business, products, or ideas.

Here is the list of finalists:

Finalist 1: Michael Cronin (JD ’21)

Finalist 2: Niv Elka (BS, Economics ’21) & Ruben Isagulov

Finalist 3: Nicholas R. Fernandes (BS, Government and Public Policy ’21)

Finalist 4: Benjamin Hudak (BSBA, Entrepreneurship ’22)

Finalist 5: Donna M. Lee (MPA ’22)

Finalist 6: Richard Meiklejohn (MBA, ’21) & Frank Greco

Finalist 7: Kyle Rosa (BSBA, Financial Wealth Management ’23), Steven Lopez Toro (BSBA, Entrepreneurship ’20), & Anusha Wasim Kha (BSBA, Digital Marketing ’23)

Finalist 8: Greta Thurston (BSBA, Economics & BS, Political Science ’22)

Finalist 9: Noah Stephen Trofimow (BSBA, Marketing ’22) & Fran Kilinski 

Finalist 10: Zihan Yan (BSBA, Big Data & Entrepreneurship ’22)

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Thomas Pholnikorn
Thomas Pholnikorn, Staff Writer | he/him
Thomas is currently a junior from Thailand. In his free time, he ventures into the realm of endless possibilities and imagination. Ultimately, there are three things he is searching for: shapeless love, certain kindness, and never fading hope.
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‘Study Buddies’ wins Suffolk 10k Idea Pitch Competition