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Seton Hall University Student Entrepreneur to Compete in 2021 Virtual Statewide UPitchNJ Startup Contest  

Virtual Pirates Pitch 2021 photo

UPitchNJ statewide collegiate contest held together with Nokia Bell Labs.

Stillman School of Business senior and Pirates Pitch startup contest winner Nicholas Marinelli will represent the University in the sixth annual statewide UPitchNJ contest. Marinelli, a member of the Gerald P. Buccino '63 Center for Leadership Development, is pursuing a dual degree in finance and information technology, along with certificates in entrepreneurship, market research, data analytics and leadership.

Watch the competition live on Friday, April 23, 1-3 p.m.

In the University's annual Pirates Pitch startup competition held virtually on April 7, Marinelli received $7,500 in seed funding for Extra Time Training App which allows soccer players to train smarter, harder and more efficiently on a cutting-edge platform that tracks their tactical and fundamental performance. Players are able to unlock their true potential and hone their athletic abilities.

Headshot of Nicholas Marinelli

Stillman Senior Nicholas Marinelli is representing Seton Hall in statewide startup contest.

"Just recently competing in the Pirates Pitch contest, I can say that Seton Hall has prepared me well for the upcoming UPitchNJ startup contest, Marinelli said. "I am honored to represent Seton Hall in this incredible event that highlights the best and brightest up-and-coming innovators in the state.

UPitchNJ is being held jointly with Nokia Bell Labs. The final round of the innovative statewide collegiate business model competition will be livestreamed on Friday, April 23 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Seton Hall University's students, faculty, alumni, friends and the public are all invited to watch the livestreamed event. For more information, please visit the contest website. Or, you can join the livestream event on the UPitchNJ Facebook page at here!

The competition is organized by the UPitchNJ consortium, which represents the entrepreneurship education programs at New Jersey's four-year colleges and universities, with the support of Nokia Bell Labs. "We are extremely grateful to Nokia Bell Labs for this extraordinary and innovative collaboration," said Susan Scherreik, chair of the UPitchNJ consortium and founding director of the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Seton Hall University. "UPitchNJ showcases the best and brightest young entrepreneurs from all over the Garden State.

Twelve universities are participating in the sixth annual competition: Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Montclair State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Rider University, Rowan University, Rutgers University, Saint Peter's University, Seton Hall University and Stevens Institute of Technology.

Paul Asel, managing partner at NGP Capital, a global venture firm with $1.2 billion assets under management and backed by Nokia, will deliver a keynote address to kick off the event. Select student teams will then pitch their startups in a virtual format to a panel of judges as they compete for cash prizes. NGP Capital and Nokia Bell Labs senior executives will serve as judges.


Student teams will be judged on the innovation and originality of their startup idea and quality of their oral presentations. The contest judges will also be looking for creative and innovative thinking about markets, products and services. The student teams will be evaluated on their perceived ability to execute the idea and turn it into a viable, profitable business, and/or venture with significant social value.

To help the undergraduate entrepreneurship students to prepare for the competition, Nokia Bell Labs paired each student startup team with a Nokia Bell Labs senior executive to serve as a mentor to the team. Marinelli greatly valued that opportunity. "UPitchNJ has given me unique and invaluable one-on-one mentoring with a senior member of Nokia Bell Labs," he said. "With assistance from Nokia Bell Labs, our student entrepreneurs will be even better prepared for their careers, Scherreik noted.

UPitchNJ has been held in partnership with Nokia Bell Labs for the past two years. Last year, the event was shifted to a virtual format after New Jersey and other states instituted social distancing requirements as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States.

In prior years, UPitchNJ has been held at one of the participating university's campuses. Past hosts include Seton Hall University, Princeton University, Rutgers University and Montclair State University.

For more information about UPitchNJ and to tune into the livestream contest event on April 23 at 1:00 p.m., please visit the contest website.

Categories: Business , Nation and World

For more information, please contact:

  • Susan Scherreik
  • (201) 294-3807