Students Compete in 2023 "Full Sail Means Business" Pitch Competition

Nine finalists came together to pitch their real-world solutions to companies in the entertainment industry.

The finalists, participating faculty, and judges stand together. The three winners are holding oversized checks. Everyone is smiling.

Students and faculty recently gathered for Full Sail University’s annual Full Sail Means Business Pitch Competition, a schoolwide competition that allows students to work with real companies to find real-world solutions in the entertainment industry.

This year’s participating companies were FlipaClip, Bandzoogle, and Heart of Florida United Way. The companies brought in judges who listened to the pitches, asked engaging questions, and ultimately decided the top three winners.

Before the competition, each company presented a problem they needed to solve. Students then chose which issue to tackle and pitch a solution for. FlipaClip was looking for a way to enhance its mobile animation app with artificial intelligence. Bandzoogle wanted a new way to help artists earn more revenue while using their platform. And as a charity, Heart of Florida United Way asked finalists how they could use technology to fundraise.

“Coming here hearing these pitches from [the students] and different proposals on how we can innovate and how musicians can find new ways to bring in a little money here or there is something we’re fascinated by, and I’m fascinated by personally,” said Joseph Longo, the Learning and Development Coordinator at Bandzoogle.

“The most specific thing I’m looking for today is the realism of the proposals,” Joseph added.

The nine finalists competed for the opportunity to win a first-place $20,000 scholarship, a second-place $15,000 scholarship, or a third-place $10,000 scholarship. Each pitch was eight minutes long, followed by six minutes of questions from the judges.

“It’s a really good opportunity for [students] to be allowed to have a high stakes presentation where they are going to have a live studio audience,” explained Victoria Wasinger, the Program Director for the Entertainment Business master’s and Business Intelligence master’s programs.

“This is a good opportunity to see where innovation is going. Full Sail is always a place of innovation,” said Leon Ashby, the Director of TECHquity at Heart of Florida United Way. Leon is also a Full Sail Entertainment Business master’s graduate.

The finalists, participating faculty, and judges stand together. The three winners are holding over-sized checks. Everyone is smiling.

This year’s Full Sail Means Business Pitch Competition winners, Annabella Guzman, Jessica Brown, and Arianna Jones, were awarded $20,000, $15,000, and $10,000 scholarships, respectively.

After taking about 90 minutes to deliberate, the judges came back to announce the Full Sail Means Business Pitch Competition winners of 2023. Music Business bachelor’s degree student Annabella Guzman, who pitched to Bandzoogle, won first place. Jessica Brown, an Instructional Design and Technology master’s student, took home second place. And Arianna Jones, an online Computer Animation bachelor’s student who was flown in for the competition, was awarded third place.

“What [choosing the winners] came down to mostly was whether or not the idea was original, feasible, and creative. We were also looking at the business aspect of the proposal and whether it would actually generate revenue,” explained Karyle Martorelli, the Business Engagement Manager at Heart of Florida United Way.