Local college students prepare for SITW Splash Pitch competition feat. Timbaland, Bruce Smith

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — As the anticipation builds for the Something in the Water Festival, college students across the state are preparing for their chance to share their entrepreneurial ideas in the Splash Pitch competition. 

“The opportunity to work with Something in the Water happened almost instantaneously,” said Nancy Grden, the executive director of ODU’s Strome Entrepreneurship Center. “They had reached out to Old Dominion, were looking for some potential partnership opportunities and it became obvious that it would become a great thing to do to have a pitch competition that could involve students and that’s how it came together.”

The deadline for applications was at the beginning of April, and it was open to groups or individuals enrolled in a Virginia community college, college, or university.

Grden says judges not affiliated with state schools narrowed over 100 applicants down to 6 finalists last week. 

“We have three teams from VCU, we have a team from Virginia Wesleyan, we have a team from JMU and we have a team from ODU,” she listed. 

Grden says there are three $2,500 prizes for best technology, best social impact and best female founder. 

She says providing such platforms not only helps the students, but the region they bring their ideas to. 

“It brings out talent, it’s an opportunity for people who are thinking about ideas to present them. It’s an opportunity for those who already have an idea to really try it out. And it’s also just great experience to be able to talk in front of others, and in this case celebrity judges and those things,” she explained. 

Grden says the three celebrity judges are music producer and rapper Timbaland, NFL Hall of Famer Bruce Smith, and a Cox representative. 

The competition finalists present for five minutes each on Friday at the Convention Center from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

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