“I came to Startup Vikes, pitched an idea – and then joined another team”

Swapnil Shah, 27, undergrad engineering student joined a team.

Swapnil Shah, 27, an engineering student at Cleveland State found out about the event from a friend and came in expecting to see good ideas and find out how to build a product, market it, and develop it. He originally pitched an idea for a stylus but was unsuccessful in recruiting team members. Swapnil knew what he wanted to say but didn’t realize he only had 60 seconds to pitch, which he said threw him off. Once he realized he wasn’t going to get enough people to join, he actively started researching other teams.

“I stood up there for 15 to 20 minutes and no one came so then I thought OK time to try to find someone else. So then I went around the room and asked everyone what their ideas were and what they were working on and what their skill sets were.”

Swapnil ultimately joined Corey Walker and Chase Brownfield and began collaborating on their smart vending machine concept. Shah said the whole weekend has been a great learning experience for him. He said he could tell that there were people who had good ideas but weren’t good at conveying them. He thinks in order to be successful as an entrepreneur you need to have an idea that’s unique but not yet available in the market. He registered with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and plans to explore some of his other ideas after the weekend is over.