MBA Students Zoom to the Top in Rocket Pitch Contest

Berkeley MBA students shot to first and second places in Babson College’s inaugural San Francisco Rocket Pitch competition Oct. 1, besting 13 rivals from other Bay Area business schools.

Kevin Callaghan, MBA 13, was on a team that nabbed first place while Melissa Millan, MBA 13, took second. They competed against students from Babson, University of San Francisco, Stanford, and Santa Clara University. Each team had three minutes and three slides to deliver the critical elements of their business idea, followed by five minutes to answer judges’ questions.

Callaghan and his teammate, Inderpal Singh, won the top prize–$5,000 and the opportunity to meet with several venture capitalists–for their Coaster app, which allows users to buy drinks at a bar from their mobile device. (Singh presented the pitch because Callaghan was out of town.)

Callaghan said Coaster addresses a common problem faced by people enjoying a night out: pushing through crowds at a bar or shouting drink orders to a bartender. He credits his team’s win to the fact that he and Singh were able to create a quick pitch that “articulates the problem, the market, and our solution.” The pair is hoping to pilot the app soon.

Millan took second place for Androgyny, a company that aims to offer premium button-down shirts for women who seek an androgynous look.

“Queer women struggle to find clothing that both fits them properly and allows them to feel comfortable and confident,” Millan says. “I think the judges found it refreshing to hear a new idea, especially one outside of the technology sector.”

The $3,000 second prize will allow Millan to move forward with producing a sample run, she says. Millan also won three hours of legal consultation with the Emerging Companies Practice Group of Latham & Watkins.

Watch the Rocket Pitch presentations.

Melissa Millan, MBA 13