Brought To You By NSU; Written by Leah Jackson
Sky Technologies is winner of the 2023 Inferno Pitch, a business model competition sponsored by Northwestern State University’s School of Business. Sky Technologies is a company that empowers businesses with comprehensive data analytics services, delivering actionable insights for informed decision-making and a competitive edge.
Sky Technologies is the brainchild of Joshua Pierite, a senior from Marksville. Pierite wins $3,000 and is eligible to compete in The Pelican Cup, a statewide business plan competition.
Lydia Phillips, a senior business administration major from Shreveport, won second place and $1,000 for Insomniac’s Guild Café. Phillips’ idea is a late-night café that provides non-alcoholic beverages, coffees, teas and healthy diner-inspired meals with fast wi-fi available for guests to use.
A team of students won third place and $500 for BlissBuddy, an app developed to revolutionize psychological well-being with personalized support to foster resilience and promote positive engagement with a virtual buddy. The team included senior business administration majors David Melonja of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dorothy Sosnowski of St. Joseph, and Vallouise Daniel of Baton Rouge, and senior computer information systems majors Keith McCrory of Lafayette, Rowena Sawensane of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Mark Ennis of Mandeville.
Judges were Natchitoches Mayor Ronnie Williams, JoAnna Washington, Vice President, Branch Administrator & Loan Officer for City Bank, and Stephen Goodfellow, a Financial Advisor representing the Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP), a division of the BRF.
The winner of The Pelican Cup can win $50,000 for first place, $25,000 for second place and for third place $10,000. Any prize amount is to be split between the winning team members. A team faculty advisor is also required. The first through third-place faculty advisors will be awarded $3,000. There is also a live pitch competition. The winner of this could win $2,000.00.
Earlier this year, the NSU team of Matthew Gamble (inventor and team leader), Hayden Stanley and Alexander Brown won the Pelican Cup and $25,000 for Rise and Rotate, a mobility assistance device that helps individuals with limited mobility in getting from a bed to a chair.