CEBIpitch competition - Virtual
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
4 - 6 p.m.
2021 CEBIpitch Event
Congratulations to the 2021 CEBIpitch winners:
First place: Grace Irvin-Dillard
with Touched by Grace - $10,000
Second place: Jonathan Henry
with CommUNITy - $5,000
Third place: Mattney Yates
with Capsule Collective – $2,500
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (CEBI) hosts an annual pitch competition to help grow and nurture startups within the College of Business Administration's entrepreneurship program.
Applicants must be an entrepreneurship major or minor to qualify. Teams are accepted as long as one student is an entrepreneurship major or minor.
Once selected, egiht finalists participate in a mentorship program to prepare for the live pitch event. In total, $20,000 will be awarded at the live CEBIpitch event.
Luke Leyden - Trolder
Junior Computer Engineering Technology Major/Theatrical Lighting Minor
Trolder is going to change electronic education. The company makes kits made up of electronic components with fun and easy to follow instructions that anyone can use to put together a fun device. Individuals of any skill level can obtain a Trolder kit and have a great time completing it.
Joseph Lewis - Above Par Media
Junior Business Management Major/Entrepreneurship Minor
Above Par Media is designed to enhance golfers' experience through easily accessible hole flyover videos. These individual, hole by hole flyover videos are accessed by unique QR codes that are placed on a hole flyover card or golf cart decal. This allows golfers to view an aerial flyover of any hole on the course with a quick and simple scan of their phone.
Logan Schouman and Lukas Minkov - Afters.io
Logan: Senior Entrepreneurship Major
Lukas: Senior Business Management major and Economics minor
Afters.io is an online, hyper-speed convenience store. The company’s mission is to provide a free delivery service to the community, particularly college students and those with low income. The company strives to eliminate drunk driving by providing an affordable late-night service. Afters.io delivers snacks, drinks, paper products, phone chargers and a variety of other products faster than competitors and without a delivery fee. With strategically placed micro-storage facilities, the company anticipates a faster delivery and a better overall customer experience. Hours, payment methods and employment opportunities are flexible to ensure a community-oriented service.
Grace Irvin-Dillard - Touched by Grace Body Care
Senior Entrepreneurship and Pan-African Studies Major
Touched by Grace Body Care provides all natural, handmade personal care products for those with skin sensitivities. Products include facial, body and feminine care items.
Amrth Shenava – Flashmates
Senior - Computer Science Major/Entrepreneurship Minor
Flashmates is an application that makes it easier for students to find affordable off-campus housing and roommates based on their preferences and interests.
Heeju Noe- Workmanship
Master of Fashion Industry Studies graduate student (MFIS)
Workmanship is a sustainable clothing brand that uses detachable collars, cuffs and sleeves to promote circular fashion. Customers can purchase fewer, higher-quality garments to increase sustainability efforts while fully expressing their creativity and individuality by using detachable functions and designs.
Jonathan Henry - CommUNITy
Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
CommUNITy was created to provide customizable sterilization solutions that are sustainable. Using UV-C irradiation allows the company to create sanitation products that require no chemicals to target and kill pathogens.
Mattney Yates - Capsule Collective
Senior Entrepreneurship Major
The Capsule Collective is centralized around celebrating and sustaining. The company creates custom and ready-to-wear jackets out of recycled materials. Jackets will fill the piece of your heart you didn't know you were missing.
Shampa Banerjee, Ph.D.
Chief Product Officer/Executive Vice President Pluto TV, ViacomCBS
Shampa is Chief Product Officer/Executive Vice President at Pluto TV, ViacomCBS's free-streaming TV division. She earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Kent State University and masters degrees in physics from Case Western Reserve University and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. She serves as a board member for the Association for Corporate Growth Silicon Valley and previously was a Board Advisor for Wist and Minio Social Games. She is also a mentor at NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center.
Founder and CEO of Capellas Partners
Michael is the founder and CEO of Capellas Partners, a strategic technology advisory firm. He currently serves on the Board of Flex (Chair), Cisco (Lead Independent Director), and Blue Yonder (Chair). He is also on the board of OnSolve and Vesper Healthcare Acquisition as well as a Senior Advisor to Blackstone. Michael previously served on the boards of MuleSoft (Lead Independent Director), Tenable (Lead Independent Director), and Cylance, prior to being acquired. A four-time corporate CEO, Michael’s career as a global technology leader has spanned from innovative technology start-ups to large corporate turnarounds. He spent the first decade of his career at Schlumberger, followed by positions at software leaders, Oracle and SAP. In 1999, Michael was named CEO of Compaq Computer Corporation and a year later, added the title of chairman. During his tenure, the company was recognized as the global leader in computer servers. He was named President of Hewlett Packard following the merger between Compaq and HP.
In 2002, Michael was recruited as Chairman and CEO of Worldcom post- bankruptcy and transformed the company from a long-distance provider into the world’s largest carrier of internet traffic. After the restructuring, WorldCom relisted on the NASDAQ as the new MCI. After Verizon acquired MCI, Michael was named Chairman and CEO of First Data Corporation, a global leader in payments and electronic commerce.
From 2009 through 2012, Michael became Founding Chairman and CEO of VCE, the Virtual Computing Company, a joint venture between Cisco, EMC and VMware which developed and commercialized an innovative platform for cloud computing. During his tenure at VCE, Michael co-chaired the Federal Commission on Deployment of the Cloud (Cloud2), comprised of 71 leading U.S. companies and universities, who finalized a set of recommendations for driving U.S. cloud adoption, spurring U.S. job growth and enhancing overall U.S. competitiveness in the world. He graduated from Kent State University and lives in Kiawah, South Carolina.
Senior Vice President and General Manager,Consumer Foods, The J.M. Smucker Company
Tina is Senior Vice President and General Manager, Consumer Foods, The J.M. Smucker Company. A strategic, results-oriented leader with more than 24 years of experience establishing nationally-recognized brands, she is motivated by the opportunity to better consumers’ lives daily with popular food brands and convenient solutions. With the constant evolution in the consumer foods space, successful leadership requires a commitment to staying on top of trends and opportunities. Tina has spent her career in the consumer foods category and maintains an excitement for the business.
Tina has more than 24 years of experience offering strategic leadership at Smucker. In her current role, she has responsibility for the continued innovation and growth of the Company’s leading and emerging consumer foods brands. Tina and team are driven by a vision to engage, delight, and inspire consumers through trusted food brands that bring joy throughout their lives wherever the occasion takes them. Achieving this objective requires a commitment to listening to consumers and a dedication to deliver on those learnings.
Under her oversight, Smucker has maintained a focus bringing consumers convenient, nutritious, and tasty options they can enjoy every day. Examples include the continued growth of the popular Smucker’s® Uncrustables® brand, offering an easily accessible treat; and support of the growing Sahale Snacks® brand, which offers delicious, unique combinations of premium nuts and fruits; among many others. In addition to her leadership at Smucker, Tina is on the Board of Trustees for the Akron-Canton Airport. Tina holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Walsh University and an MBA from Kent State University.
Co-founder, Sand Hill Group
M.R. is an entrepreneur, investor, corporate eco-strategy expert, community builder and philanthropist. Recognized as a software business expert, he participated in the rapid expansion of the Silicon Valley software industry during his tenure as an executive at both large and small software companies. In 1997, he co-founded Sand Hill Group, one of the earliest “angel” investment firms, and was profiled on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. He was named to the Forbes "Midas" list of investors and also recognized by CRN as one of the Top 25 Technology Executives. He also hosts the Enterprise Retreat for the top 100 leaders in technology. He is an angel investor in over 100 companies.
Entrepreneur, Investor, Board Member
Michael D. Solomon has been involved in early stage technology companies and emerging growth companies as an entrepreneur, investor, senior manager and board member. Early in his career, he owned the youngest of Apple Computer's independent representative firms from 1980 to 1984, the period when Apple grew from $100 million to $1.4 billion in annual sales. In 1985, he became the original vice president of sales and marketing with Aldus Corporation in Seattle, which launched the desktop publishing industry through its PageMaker software. Solomon has provided leadership to companies including Collabra, Telocity, Flycast, eShop and many others. He served as a partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures from 1996 to 2002. From 2005 to 2010, he served as CEO of Audyssey Laboratories of Los Angeles. In 2010, Solomon served as the Board Chairman of Within 3 Corporation, a Cleveland-based medical industry software company from 2010 to its successful financing with Insight partners a leading private equity firm. He is currently an investor and Board member of NewGen Surgical, a sustainable products company serving the operating rooms in hospitals worldwide. He was a member of the Kent State University Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2020, and endowed the Michael D. Solomon Entrepreneurial Speaker Series in 2002, which is still very active today. He graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (CEBI) immerses students in entrepreneurship education and experiences, advances entrepreneurial research and nurtures regional outreach.
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation
Associate Professor - Economics