Pitch competition awards entrepreneurs

Finance major Jake Reisig won with a business idea for rental transparency

By Justin Malone, Staff Writer

On Jan. 31, the Xavier Pitch Competition honored the dedication and remarkable successes of eight undergraduate students in their entrepreneurial pursuits, with one student’s business idea earning him a venture to the Big East Startup Competition later this month.

During the Xavier Pitch Competition, held at the Robinette Center for Innovation, each student prepared a five-minute video pitch of their ideas and answered questions from a panel of judges composed of Xavier faculty members and alumni who have founded their own successful businesses.

Jake Reisig, a senior finance major, was crowned this year’s Xavier Pitch Competition winner for his business, SpotCheck, a rental review website that allows renters to rate and review their landlords. As the victor, he received a $1,500 prize to help develop his business idea.

Photo courtesy of bigeast.com

The winner of the Xavier Pitch Competition will advance to the Big East Startup Challenge next week, where he will compete against student entrepreneurs from a wide array of schools.

Through his business, Reisig wants to help prospective renters, especially college students, make more informed decisions during their search for rental housing.

“A lot of rental review websites are just about the property. And a problem we have with students a lot is that they’re new to renting,” Reisig said. 

“They don’t really know what’s what, and no one can find information about the actual landlord who students are in a contract with for long periods of time. So, with my business, I am trying to give students more insight into that,” he explained.

Reisig credits his experience in the rental industry working with Flyco Management as critical to his interest in the real estate field and the efficacious development of the business.

“Some of the ideas I generated were from just being in the industry. The idea really comes from spotting what the barriers are, what’s hard for landlords to market to students and what’s hard for students to figure out about the landlords,” Reisig stated.

Photo courtesy of xavier.edu

Jake Reisig, senior finance major and winner of this year’s Xavier Pitch Competition, proposed a solution to rental difficulties for college students.

The judges also recognized three other prize winners along with Reisig for their ideas, which encompassed several diverse industries.

Senior Zack Cuda, an entrepreneurship and innovation major, was awarded second place and a $1,000 prize for his idea Studio Share, a platform that allows individuals to rent out recording studio space for musicians.

Junior Megan Osting, an entrepreneurship and innovation and marketing double major, finished third place and received a $500 prize for her idea, Vault, which allows students to interact with companies and understand company culture through TikTok-style video content.

Kat Seebeck, a senior entrepreneurship and innovation and management double major, won the $500 prize for Best Health Care Idea for her product Mixie-Stix, a device that detects if a drink has been spiked.

“The competition is inviting diverse sets of thinking to use entrepreneurship and innovation, whatever they’re passionate about. It’s giving them that real world classroom experience that goes a little bit beyond having a high-level idea,” Ben Alegre, Center for Innovation Coordinator, siad. 

“You have six industry professionals with diverse backgrounds poking holes in front of 60 of your friends… You have to think on your feet, and you don’t get that anywhere else,” he added.