Rowan MIS major wins annual Elevator Pitch Contest


In Robert Boka’s ideal retail world, paper receipts are a thing of the past.

In Robert Boka’s ideal retail world, paper receipts are a thing of the past.

Boka, a junior MIS major at Rowan University, won the University’s Rohrer College of Business Elevator Pitch Contest with his riff on his creation “tagreceipt.”

“Tagreceipt aims to replace wasteful paper-based receipt systems by implementing an electronic receipt service that easily integrates into existing point-of-sale systems at retailers everywhere,” Boka told judges in the April competition. “Tagreceipt is simple; just scan your key tag and pay for your items. Your receipt is automatically sent to your tagreceipt account. No more waiting for a receipt to print, no more lost or worn out receipts, and no scanning required. Tagreceipt saves retailers money, helps protect the environment, reduces time at the register and simplifies returns.”

The Hamilton Township resident competed against 10 other students winnowed down from an initial 83. The semifinalists presented their elevator pitch to a panel of business people serving as judges. The initial 83 students, who were enrolled in entrepreneurship courses, uploaded their 300-word written pitches to an entrepreneurial social networking site. Close to 50 Rowan alumni were assigned to read, rate and provide feedback on the pitches. The 10 students who ranked highest were tapped to compete in the finals of the spring Elevator Pitch Contest. 

An elevator pitch is an entrepreneur's two-minute explanation of his or her business model, often heard in an elevator and directed at anyone who might want to provide funding for the entrepreneur's startup.

Second place went to Pawtraits, presented by Jenna Bertino, a junior art major from Palmyra, who creates pastel or acrylic portraits of pets.

Third place went to Skimbo, presented by Stephen Kauth, a sophomore law/justice major from Cherry Hill, whose creation is a full-width pool skimmer that can skim an entire pool in just one pass.

The top three contestants earned the right to attend the 2010 National Conference of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, held in Chicago in November.  Boka is Rowan’s automatic entrant in the national Elevator Pitch Contest at the conference, where prizes of up to $2,500 are awarded to the best pitch.