LICA leader among judges at CEWIT2017 pitch-a-thon

Out with it: An "international" pitch event featuring lightning-round presentations will be part of the CEWIT2017 conference.

As part of CEWIT2017, Stony Brook University is hosting the International Skyscraper Pitch Challenge, a mini pitch-a-thon that gives participants a chance to hone their presentation skills with the help of top professionals.

The open challenge, scheduled for the morning of Nov. 7, gives presenters two-and-a-half minutes to state their “elevator speech.”

That’s “a long elevator ride indeed,” according to the program website, hence the “skyscraper” – but it’s a tough window in which to properly elucidate a business strategy, a critical skill for entrepreneurs in search of working capital.

To that end, the best presenters will be awarded a spot in the conference’s 2017 Pitch Clinic, slated for later that afternoon. The clinic will offer one-on-one pitch-sharpening consultations with industry experts.

Scheduled judges for the International Skyscraper Pitch Challenge include Sylvan Schefler, vice chairman of New York City-based financial consultancy Tigress Financial Partners, and corporate attorney Neil Kaufman, chairman of the Long Island Capital Alliance, a regional business-development organization.

Neil Kaufman: Pitch perfect.

Kaufman knows a few things about winning pitches and pitch events: LICA hosts a successful series of quarterly “capital forums” in which early-stage business owners present short pitches to a panel of expert judges, before an audience of potential investors.

To date, LICA has helped dozens of companies raise more than $150 million in financing, according to the alliance’s website.

The next LICA Capital Forum – this one focused on food, beverage and “ag-tech” businesses – is scheduled for Dec. 1 in Melville. Applications from potential presenters can be sent through Oct. 16 to LICA Executive Director Carol Lane at

As part of CEWIT2017’s long slate of B2B activities, the International Skyscraper Pitch Challenge and the 2017 Pitch Clinic are designed to showcase emerging technologies while connecting entrepreneurs with potential investors.

CEWIT2017 – the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology’s 13th International Conference on Emerging Technologies for a Smarter World – is scheduled for Nov. 7 and 8 at SBU. Click here for registration information.