University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Pitch:90 logo




Thursday, November 16, 2017
6:00–8:30 p.m.
Harker ISE Lab Atrium

Pitch:90 is a fast-paced elevator pitch contest in which student contestants showcase their research in 90 seconds or less to a panel of judges and an enthusiastic audience.

NO props, NO slides, ONLY words. 


Quick! You have the next 90 seconds inside an elevator to tell the person standing next to you about your research. What do you say? Why does your research matter?

While few "elevator pitches" actually take place in elevators, there are numerous situations in which being able to explain your research clearly, concisely, and engagingly will be important to your success.

That’s what DENIN's Pitch:90 competition is all about. It's designed to be an entertaining, fast-paced event that provides science and engineering students a chance to develop their communication and presentation skills while showcasing their research. A panel of 20 judges assembled from UD and local businesses, nonprofits, schools, and government agencies rate each contestant's 90-second pitch.

At the end of the night, cash prizes are awarded to the top five contestants, including the grand prize of $500. All contestants receive a Pitch:90 t-shirt and commemorative jump drive — and get to attend a really fun after-party!

The event is open to the public — bring your friends and family. They'll be amazed by some of the outstanding work our students are doing!

News for Contestants

Welcome to Pitch:90! The first step is to register — please fill out our online form here.

Once you're signed up, you'll want to start working on your pitch. One of the best things to do is to start by watching some video of last year's competition. This will help you get a sense for what worked. You'll notice that one thing all the winners did well is to tell the audience why they should care about the research being described. How will it impact them? Paint a picture for the audience with words; appeal to their emotions and tell a story.

Have a draft of your pitch ready by the week of October 30. That's when we'll be hosting some peer coaching sessions — the schedule will be posted below once it's finalized. We will select a variety of times for these sessions and strongly encourage all contestants to attend one of them. In a friendly small-group setting you'll have a chance to try out your pitch and receive feedback from others.

Peer Coaching Sessions 
The peer coaching sessions have been scheduled as follows:

In Newark: Tuesday, November 7, from 5:00-6:30 p.m. in 156 Townsend Hall, and Wednesday, November 8, from 4:30-6:00 p.m. in 250Y Harker ISE Lab.

In Lewes: Tuesday, November 7, 4:00 p.m. in 104 Cannon Lab

All contestants should have received an informational email containing the link to a Doodle poll for signing up for a coaching session. If you did not receive this notification, please contact

Once you have the basic message down, you'll want to practice, practice, practice. Memorize your pitch and once it's second nature, begin to work on your delivery -- pauses, voice modulation, gestures. But it needs to flow. And you might want to try polishing your delivery with techniques offered by UD theatre professor Steve Tague, who gave a special workshop last year. Watch a video recording of that presentation on YouTube.

Still frame image from a video of Jill Harland's winning pitch from the 2016 Pitch:90 competition






Watch last year's winning pitch by Jill Harland by clicking on the image link to YouTube above. You can also view the top five pitches and the entire contest on our YouTube page