Pictured from left are Bobby Martin, Narayana Walters, Jackson Barbee, Chandler Greer and Erich Schlenker

Appalachian State University Freshman Jackson Barbee earned the top spot and $1,000 at the 2017 Big Idea Pitch Competition for his Boulder Bag, a purpose built bag to support the unique needs of rock climbers. 

The event, held November 10 on the campus of Appalachian State University, was hosted by the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship (TICFE) in the Walker College of Business.

“The Big Idea Pitch competition is a big hit here on campus because it highlights the creativity of our students,” said TICFE Director Erich Schlenker. “We appreciate the support of all our sponsors, mentors and judges. I want to give a special shout out to Bobby Martin – entrepreneur, author, and Appalachian Mountaineer for his annual support for the event.”

Ten innovative students, pre-selected from a larger pool of applicants, pitched their best business ideas for a chance to win prize money and boasting rights.

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Originally published November 20, 2017.


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