By Lacie Blankenship
Christal Hector (MBA’23) recently competed in the 39th Annual Global Pitch Competition, hosted by the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO), in Chicago. Her venture, TuneHatch placed 3rd in the competition, earning her $4,000 and access to Patent Hacks, a patent education service.
TuneHatch, co-founded by Hector, who serves as CEO, and Nathan Youssef (MBA’23), who serves as COO, is an online platform that maximizes fan turnout and profitability of concerts using predictive analytics. TuneHatch helps musicians and venues strategically book profitable shows while connecting fans to live music.
“I love seeing people’s reactions to using and interacting with TuneHatch. It is very gratifying,” says Hector. “I also love the product creation process, thinking through how things work and how we can improve from both a technological standpoint and how that translates to customer experience.”
TuneHatch was selected to participate in the pitch competition from a pool of several hundred collegiate venture applicants. The CEO selected the top 100 applicants to compete for new venture funding. The top 100 was narrowed down to the top 25 from a ‘PitchPage,’ a web page version of a pitch deck that takes the reader through the problem, solution, product, market, etc. of each venture. The semifinal and final rounds were at the CEO Global Conference.
The finalists gave 5-minute pitches to a panel of industry experts and an audience of other competing entrepreneurs. Some participants used their PitchPage to guide pitches. Hector found success in taking a talking-only approach to the TuneHatch pitch.
“Exposure was a major benefit to participating in this competition, the judges either own their businesses or work in investments, and it was so cool to hear what other people are working on,” says Hector.
“I’ve picked up skills from almost all of my classes that have applied to entrepreneurship,” says Hector. “I would say the biggest thing that’s helped me that’s maybe not so obvious is the Leadership Development Program (LDP). Understanding people, organizational structure, and psychology is important to align everybody so that they are doing their best work.”
Up next, TuneHatch is working on securing angel or seed investments. The goal is for Hector and Youssef to be full-time TuneHatch employees upon their 2023 graduation from Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management.