Pitch Day 2018—an annual event presented by the Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Institute—gives students from across the University the opportunity to showcase their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, while getting real-world experience in building an idea from the ground up. This year, Pitch Day expanded its offering of featured competitions to include REALtech, a new real estate technology (REALtech) challenge. A cross-disciplinary creation of the DiLella Center for Real Estate, ICE Institute and Villanova-alum-founded Convene, students from a variety of academic backgrounds teamed up and collaborated over 10-weeks to develop modern tech solutions to problems and opportunities facing the real estate industry. The three finalists were awarded $10,000 in cash prizes.
The winning team in this inaugural competition was comprised entirely of undergraduate engineering juniors: Matt Bakey and Brendan Lundquist, both Mechanical Engineering majors, Chris LeClerc, Electrical Engineering, and Matt Massina, Computer Engineering. Their project, called “Ascension,” is a cloud computing program that creates a “smart” elevator network with the goal of streamlining the wait process for individual elevator rides. The mobile application would allow users to schedule elevator rides and provide them with data such as estimated wait time, current elevator location and arrival time.
While Pitch Day is always a success, the addition of REALtech opened new avenues for students to showcase their abilities. "The Real Estate Tech Competition has truly enhanced Pitch Day; it is a perfect tool to intersect disciplines and skillsets to create new value and opportunities," said II Luscri, Executive Director of the ICE Institute.