Moreno Valley College Herald

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Moreno Valley College Herald

Moreno Valley College Herald

MVC Develops Entrepreneurs with Pitch Competition

Jacob Moore
Mayor Cabrera congratulating John London as he accepts the award.

There was music in the air as students and their families gathered to celebrate the Fourth Annual Moreno Valley College Pitch Competition on Tuesday, May 21. The event was sponsored by the City of Moreno Valley, and one of the judges was Mayor Ulises Cabrera. The ceremony highlighted the student’s dedication to becoming successful entrepreneurs and celebrated everyone regardless of winning. 

The MVC Pitch Competition gives young entrepreneurs clarity in purpose and helps turn their business ideas into reality.

“It’s surreal to remember the days I used to walk to and from class, just to be able to support you all is truly very powerful,” said MVC alum, Mayor Cabrera.

For this reason, the business department encourages students from all majors to compete because every single occupation is a business, and entrepreneurship is unlimited. The school has also begun a partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters to provide students with postsecondary workplace mentoring, where they meet once a month to talk about college and career readiness. The program starts in October and will provide students with stipends and a future letter of recommendation.

Furthermore, the competition was overseen by Dr. Marcus Anderson of the business department and allowed seven students to compose business ideas and pitch them to three judges. The top prize for the competition was $2,000 and two hours of free business consultation with the City of Moreno Valley. The winner of this year’s contest was 34-year-old business student, John London.  

For the past three years John has competed in the annual pitch competition, but each year has fallen just short of first place. The journey for him started with a restaurant idea because he has tremendous experience in the food and hospitality industry. However, after a few years of trying to get Johnny’s Steakhouse to become a reality, he realized his plans needed to adapt. That is when he was inspired to create Audrina Piña’s Lemonade, for his daughters.

Uniquely, he was inspired to create this business when his daughters asked for a $10 Roblox card. This left him wondering if there was a better way to teach kids the value of a dollar. With this newfound business idea, he hopes to give back to the community by enabling children to learn valuable business skills alongside their normal curriculum. 

During his pitch, John outlined how his business idea could be possible by implementing entrepreneurship programs in schools like STEM, or by replacing fundraisers and having children run lemonade stands to raise money. Notably, this would be a great learning opportunity for the youth to experience the limitless possibilities of business and could inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. 

This victory was earned through his dedication and innovative approach, and when accepting the award he said, “Spread the wealth with the youth.”

With failure being a part of success, it is important not to be discouraged when other people cannot see your vision. Fashion student, Kiera Roberts was recognized for her concept of a fashion label. “It’s basically a record label for fashion designers, where we give them the funds to create a collection, and they go out and create it,” said Kiera. Because of this competition, her passion for this business idea only increased and she now knows what to improve upon.

Group photo of all the participants this year. (Jacob Moore)

“The beginning is tough, if you don’t have people checking up on you and you aren’t self-motivated while trying to go to school and work a job, it’s easy to let business ideas get pushed aside,” said Dr. Anderson.

Throughout the entire ceremony, every participant acknowledged how their families enabled them to flourish. Business is a team effort, and the entire business department wants everyone to know that students have their support. They offer students valuable guidance and even follow up with them after graduation to hear about their progress. 

In the future, MVC is looking to organize a secondary pitch competition that will put the winners from every Riverside Community College District school together to compete in a district-wide event.

The winner of the first pitch competition, Lester Roy, recently shared that his drone business which he got started because of the competition is continuing to grow. He also mentioned that because of the skills and knowledge that he acquired from MVC, he was offered a job paying six figures. His passion for business ideas has been fueled by the validation he received from the competition. 

“I am grateful for the experience I have received, and I am thankful for everything MVC has done for entrepreneurs like me,” said Lester. Students seeking to compete in next year’s pitch competition can email Dr. Anderson [email protected]. Those looking to sign up for the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentorship program can join for free, just email [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Jacob Moore
Jacob Moore, Writer
Jacob Moore is a first-year journalism student at Moreno Valley College. Jacob is majoring in Journalism with a plan to pursue a career in Sports Journalism.
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