Economic Development

Innovation Unleashed: Morris County’s 2023 Pitch Competition Spotlight

In an exciting collaboration, the Morris County Economic Development Alliance partnered with PitchNJ at Fairleigh Dickinson University hosted the 2023 Pitch Competition. This innovative event, which took place on December 14th, 2023, was part of a broader portfolio of programs and initiatives designed to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among high school and college students across Morris County, New Jersey.


The pitch competition provided an exceptional platform for young minds to present their groundbreaking business concepts to a panel of industry professionals. The three most impressive entries were awarded monetary prizes, making the contest a highly anticipated opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs.


Our 2023 Pitch Competition Finalists, Winners, & Judges

The event featured five finalist teams who presented their groundbreaking business concepts:

  • Team 1: HydroDefrost by Muhammad Haseeb – DCL STEM Academy at Passaic County Tech
  • Team 2: Safe 2-0 by McKenna Roper – Morris County Vocational School of Tech
  • Team 3: Convertible Fashion & Athletic Wear by Hannah Anderson and Kimmie Klapal
  • Team 4: mFlip by Daksh Bafna, Neilay Agarwal, Ankit Krishnam, and Dhruv Konaka – South Brunswick School District
  • Team 5: Bizko by Noa Snook, Thanish Raja, MyLee Gramegna, and Alyssa Cocoziello – Morris County Vocational School of Tech

The winners were announced with the following prizes:

  • 1st Place: HydroDefrost by Mohammad Haseeb (PCTI) – $2,500
  • 2nd Place: Bizko by Noa Snook, Alyssa Cocoziello, Thanish Raja, Mylee Gramegna (MCVTS) – $500
  • 3rd Place: Safe-2-0 by McKenna Roper (MCVTS) – $250

The panel of judges included:

  • Craig Schlosser: President, Morris County Economic Development Alliance & Tourism Bureau
  • Matt Wells: Regional Director, NJSBDC at Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • John Carini: CEO, iEnterprises
  • Katherine O’Hara: Founder, The O’Hara Project

Supporting Partners & Sponsors

West Morris Capital, a key sponsor, played a pivotal role in sponsoring the event. In addition to this support, other vital partners, including Business Bootcamp, Morris County EDC, and Start-Up Move Up Morris, actively contributed to making the 2023 Pitch Competition a resounding success.

Appreciation from Morris County Leaders

Matt Wells, Regional Director of NJSBDC at Fairleigh Dickinson University, expressed his appreciation: “I truly appreciate the Morris County Economic Development Corporation and the Morris County Economic Development Alliance for their instrumental role in bringing NJPitch to FDU. The NJSBDC at FDU was honored to help facilitate the event and serve as one of the judges. The student business pitch teams displayed remarkable entrepreneurial energy, highlighting the critical importance of nurturing youth entrepreneurship in our state. We can’t wait for future strategic collaborations to help empower and elevate the next generation of leaders as they continue contributing to our region’s economic growth and innovation.”

Meghan Hunscher, President & CEO of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce and Morris County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC), expressed her enthusiasm for programs and initiatives like the PitchNJ contest: “We are deeply committed to fostering entrepreneurship and economic growth in Morris County. Our partnership with PitchNJ for this contest aligns perfectly with our core mission and various initiatives. This contest is more than just a competition; it’s a platform for these young innovators to connect with industry professionals, gain invaluable insights, and potentially secure the funding they need to bring their ideas to life.”

Craig Schlosser, President & CEO of the Morris County Economic Development Alliance (MCEDA), further emphasized the importance of such initiatives. “At the Alliance, we understand that fostering entrepreneurship and innovation is key to driving economic growth. Our partnership with PitchNJ for the 2023 Contest is a perfect example of our commitment to this mission. This contest isn’t just about business ideas; it’s a launchpad for tomorrow’s industry leaders. We’re not just nurturing businesses; we’re shaping the future of our economy. Through initiatives like the ‘Start-Up Move Up Morris’ and our Data Consortium program, we provide the resources, opportunities, and networks these young entrepreneurs need to succeed. And in doing so, we’re contributing to the growth and prosperity of the region that we deeply love and serve.”

Alliance-PitchNJ Partnership

The Alliance-PitchNJ partnership showcased Morris County’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and innovation. The success of the 2023 Pitch Competition reflects the thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem that the Alliance, in collaboration with PitchNJ and other Morris County partners, has worked tirelessly to cultivate. It’s not just about competition; it’s about giving young entrepreneurs the tools, resources, and platform they need to succeed, contributing to the growth and prosperity of the region.

The entrepreneurial landscape buzzed with anticipation during the event, and the Alliance-PitchNJ partnership spotlighted Morris County on a grand scale. Congratulations to all contestants, and may the best ideas continue to flourish!