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UNI student heads to national elevator pitch competition

October 2, 2013

Katherine Cota-Uyar, associate director, UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, 319-273-5732,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Aaron Baughman, a senior from Denison majoring in manufacturing technology: metal casting, has won the University of Northern Iowa Elevator Pitch Competition. He will test his elevator pitch against college students from across the U.S. at the National CEO (Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization) Conference Elevator Pitch Competition, Thursday, Oct. 31, through Saturday, Nov. 2, in Chicago.Aaron Baughman, elevator pitch winner

Baughman is the owner of Anvil Guitars, a business located in the R. J. McElroy Student Business Incubator, a program of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) at UNI. The manufacturing facility for Anvil Guitars is located in Denison. The company manufactures custom guitars, focusing mostly on electric guitars for artists seeking to express their individual tastes and needs in an instrument.

The runner-ups for the competition were Michael Caraway, a sophomore marketing major from Walker, and Conner Dorrance, a senior marketing major from Cedar Rapids. Eight students competed in the local competition and were judged according to the National CEO Elevator Pitch guidelines.

"The JPEC will be working with Aaron, Michael and Conner to perfect their pitches for the national competition," said Bart Schmitz, adviser for UNI Entrepreneurs. "The national competition consists of three rounds, and we expect their 90-second pitches to make it to the final round.”

The UNI JPEC, a division of UNI's Business and Community Services, provides a range of innovative educational programs and support services designed for student entrepreneurs. The center provides expertise in all stages of business planning and development and serves as a vehicle to bring new products and technologies to market. For additional information about the competition or JPEC, visit, call 319-273-5732 or email