The Pitch is an annual event sponsored by the Digital Arts, Leadership, & Innovation Lab (DALI) and the Dartmouth Entrepreneurship Network (DEN) in which twenty groups pitch their business ideas in two minutes or less. Groups are judged on the originality of the idea, potential impact, feasibility of the idea, strength of the team, and quality of the pitch. Winners are chosen by a panel of judges and the audience and receive cash prizes up to $1,000 and in-kind donations, such as software development services from DALI.
One of this year’s contestants was The Skeww, a startup founded by second-year Tuck students Sean Graber and Keal Harter. The Skeww is a technology and media company that uses a combination of machine learning and human judgement to curate news articles based on their political bias. Graber explained that Tuck was invaluable in the development of The Skeww, the idea for which was born during several late-night conversations between the two co-founders while they were in Germany for a Tuck-sponsored OnSite Global Consulting project.
In addition to Tuck’s entrepreneurship classes, which provided Graber and Harter with a better understanding of the lean startup methodology, Graber has incorporated programming skills that he learned in his spring Natural Language Processing elective. When asked about The Pitch, Graber commented that, “[The Pitch] is a valuable event because it forces entrepreneurs to distill the essence of their business. You have to quickly explain the problem you want to solve and why you are uniquely suited to do so. It also helps build relationships and engenders a spirit of entrepreneurship across the Dartmouth community. It’s inspiring to see what others in the community are working on.”