The Eagles have a strong reputation of community outreach in the Philadelphia area and beyond. Just this year they started an initiative to counter rising gun violence and raised over four million dollars for autism research in their yearly Eagles Autism Challenge. The Eagles are keeping that tradition alive with a business pitch competition that they hosted with Firsttrust Bank.
Students around Philadelphia and the neighboring areas sent in 27 start-up pitches to a panel of judges who narrowed them down to five ideas. The schools represented among the finalists were Cheltenham High School, Central Bucks South High School, Delsea Regional High School, Hempfield High School, and Springfield High School in Delaware County.
The Entrepreneur Game Plan finalists were all given an opportunity to do workshops in smart small business tactics like balancing a budget, developing seed money and general lessons about business sense and administration. Then, the finalists were all given an opportunity to personally present their ideas to the panel of judges: Tim Abell, president of Firstrust Bank; Peggy Leimkuhler, chief operating officer and executive vice president at Firstrust Bank; Lauren Bernstein, executive vice president, head of account management for EVERFI; Frank Gumienny, chief financial officer of the Philadelphia Eagles; and Avonte Maddox; c’mon, you know who Avonte Maddox is. The students’ presentation required the product idea, a marketing plan, and a financial outlook for the business.
The pitches were:
- “Paddle Baddle” from the Hempfield High School Students: This is a modified version of ping pong that apparently grabbed the attention of Avonte Maddox in particular.
- “Doghouse on Wheels” from the Delsea Regional High School Students: This was a dog treat company that relied heavily on peanut butter for their treats.
- “Philadelphia Hydroelectric” from Central Bucks Students: These students were developing devices to help homeowners generate electricity for their homes from local waterways, including streams.
- A special vending machine from the Cheltingham students.
- “Easy Scoop” from the students at Springfield High School: An ice cream scooper that used battery power to lightly heat itself, making scooping easier.
The winning pitch was Paddle Baddle and the students who put together the business plan received a $25,000 prize from the Eagles and Firsttrust Bank. This money will go towards further developing this idea and getting it off the ground and into the market. The second place prize, awarded to Easy Scoop, is $1,000. The remaining teams took home $500. Every finalist got swag from the competition, including Eagles gear.
This competition was the first of its kind for the Philadelphia Eagles and another chapter in their long history of finding ways to uplift the various communities that make up its fanbase. With the success of this competition and the intrigue it generated among local high schools, here’s hoping next year’s Entrepreneur Game Plan draws an even bigger crowd and the Eagles can continue motivating young people across the region to think big and strive to build small businesses that bring joy (and other important services) to their local communities.