Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship Announces 2023 Spring Pitch Winners

KENT, Ohio - Eight student finalists competed in the John S. and Marlene J. Brinzo Center for Entrepreneurship’s annual Spring Pitch competition on April 19 for a share of $20,000 in cash prizes. The Center is housed in the Kent State Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship.

The following students won the competition:

Bradley Smith, a junior finance major, took first place with Finlit.

  • Finlit creates gamified learning tools, textbooks, and curriculum designed to empower students with the financial literacy skills they need for a successful future. Finlit aims to expand its physical product line and develop Edtech software to provide a cohesive learning experience for college and high school students across the country.

Sophia Edmunds, who majored in fashion design, won second place with REVEIL.

  • REVEIL is the solution to women’s underwear that revolves around active lifestyles. With antimicrobial fabric and its consumer-based design, REVEIL is a one-of-a-kind product.

  Clifford Fumbui, a senior computer engineering major, took third place with Jollof Box.

  • Jollof Box offers popular African foods for takeout, including Jollof rice, fried ripe plantains and fufu. The company also offers catering services for events and parties. With over 500 satisfied customers in the Akron area, Jollof Box provides authentic African cuisine made with fresh ingredients and spices.

The annual Spring Pitch helps Kent State entrepreneurship students launch and grow their startup companies and earn funds to support them. The eight finalists pitched their businesses to a panel of executive judges. During the event, finalists pitched their business ideas to a panel of executive judges. Other finalists included:

  • Samantha Flucht, a senior fashion design major, pitched Sammy Whammy’s.
  • Cedrick Kelly, a senior integrative studies major, pitched Sckramble.
  • Mario Nunez, a senior entrepreneurship major, pitched The Winning Way.
  • Kaitlyn Phillips, a senior entrepreneurship major and Japanese minor and Oluwasemilore Akintelure, an MBA student, pitched Aampersand.

Judges for the event included:

  • Michael Capellas is founder and CEO of Capellas Partners, a strategic technology advisory firm. He serves on the boards of Flex (Chair), Cisco, JDA (Chair), Cylance and Solace Systems. He is a senior advisor to Blackstone and is also on the Advisory Board of Kony. Capellas graduated from Kent State in 1976.
  • Veronica Cook-Euell established her consulting firm in 2003, and established the dba, Euell Construction and Consulting Group in 2020. Euell Construction and Consulting is a full-service strategic supplier diversity consulting firm with expertise in construction outreach, engagement, community liaison and minority business development, and enterprise and workforce compliance inclusion reporting and monitoring. Cook-Euell earned an Executive MBA and a Master’s in Special Education, American Sign Language/English Interpreting from Kent State, a Masters in Psychology from Cleveland State and a Bachelor’s degree from Malone University.
  • Michael Solomon began his career with Apple Computers, Inc. to set up the company’s original dealer network when they were a $100 million company. He then ran sales and marketing for Aldus Corp., which created desktop publishing software and since 1990 has worked in Silicon Valley as an executive, venture capitalist, entrepreneur, board member and advisor. He recently served as the Board Chairman of Within 3 Corporation, a Cleveland-based medical industry software company from 2010 to its successful takeout financing with Insight Partners, a leading private equity firm, in 2020. He graduated from Kent State with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1974. He recently graduated from the Academy of Intuition Medicine with a Masters of Intuition Medicine degree.
  • James R. Unger joined Miller Transfer in 1971 where he held various positions serving as Treasurer and Executive Vice President before becoming the President in 1996. Unger graduated from Kent State University in 1967 with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in management science.
  • Sandra Volpe, MBA, is currently an independent Director on the Board of Directors of Republic Services (NYSE: RSG) and serves on the Finance, Nominating and Corporate Governance and Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility committees. Passionate about health, education, leadership development, DEI and entrepreneurship, Sandra is the incoming Chair of the Board of the American Heart Association, Eastern States Region; Vice Chairman of the National Advisory Board of the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship and a National Trustee on the Board of Trustees of Kent State University. Until retiring in June 2022, Sandra was senior vice president, Strategic Planning, Communications and Business Development Solutions at FedEx. Volpe graduated from Kent State in 1989 with a BBA and earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.

Learn more about the John S. and Marlene J. Brinzo Center for Entrepreneurship here.

About Kent State University’s Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship

Kent State University’s Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship is among the fewer than 1% of business schools worldwide to obtain dual accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in both business and accounting. The college offers 11 undergraduate majors, 14 minors, and an undergraduate Professional Sales Certificate; MBA; master’s degrees in accounting, business analytics and economics; four graduate certificates and a Ph.D. program. For more information about Kent State’s Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship, visit


Media Contact:

Joni Bowen,, 330-672-1279



POSTED: Thursday, April 27, 2023 03:06 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2023 03:22 PM