Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation Hosts Business Pitch Events
The Kent State College of Business Administration’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation ramped up funding and mentorship opportunities over the past year.
Inaugural CEBidea Competition
This fall, the Center partnered with the Ohio Innovation Fund to host the inaugural CEBIdea Competition which featured 10 Kent State student finalists with unique business ideas. Finalists pitched their ideas live to four top executives:
- Lou Schneeberger, Executive Chairman, Performex – Schneeberger graduated from Kent State University in 1977 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting. He serves as chair of the College of Business Administration’s National Advisory Board.
- Bill Baumel, Managing Director, Ohio Innovation Fund – The Ohio Innovation Fund (OIF), a venture capital firm based in Columbus, Ohio. Baumel’s areas of focus include SaaS, Big Data, Cyber Security, Med Tech and Advanced Manufacturing.
- Arthur Karas, President, C&K Industrial Services, Inc. - C&K Industrial Services, Inc. is a recognized leader in the industrial and environmental service industries. Karas graduated from Kent State in 1978 with a BBA in accounting. He currently serves on the College of Business Administration’s National Advisory Board.
- Patrick Mullin, Retired Managing Partner, Deloitte & Touche - Mullin is a Certified Public Accountant and retired Managing Partner of Deloitte & Touche. He graduated from Kent State University in 1971 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting. Mullin serves as vice chair of the College of Business Administration’s National Advisory Board.
“The ideas presented at this event were transformative and disruptive, changing industries and creating new ones,” said Bill Baumel, managing director of the Ohio Innovation Fund. “We are already working with a few of the finalists to take their ideas to the next stage of development.”
First prize of $600 and automatic entry into the 2019 CEBIPitch Competition was awarded to Jaynanne Sheehan, creator of Plate Map. Plate Map is a technology that scans food, analyzes data and informs the user of potential allergens or dietary restrictions.
Second prize of $500 went to Nicole Bitskay. Bitskay created a mobile app that acts as a virtual closet and dressing room that stores outfits and demonstrates how they will fit based on a users’ measurements.
Third prize of $400 went Kathryn Gray, creator of Handmade Hoopla. Handmade Hoopla offers an all-inclusive crafting experience with all tools, materials, craft suggestions, craft leader and clean-up provided.
Fourth prize of $300 went to Lillian Lewis, creator of Swimming Technique Perfectors. Swimming Technique Perfectors are a brace-like tools that comfortably restrict motion to aid beginning swimmers in improving their stroke performance.
Fifth prize of $200 went to Nick Marstellar, creator of mobile app Wanderlust. Wanderlust empowers users to be their own travel guide by creating an interactive and up-to-date mobile travel book and itinerary builder that helps users navigate the entire experience of venturing abroad.
Other participating finalists were each awarded $100 and included Tayler Stovall, Reed Harster and Sam Ross, Halle Small, Cameron Markeson and Jacob Schaffer.
“The CEBIdea competition was a great success. The goal of competition is to provide an opportunity early in the academic year for students who have an idea and would like feedback and mentorship to determine the idea’s validity,” said Shawn Rohlin, Ph.D., director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation. “All 10 student finalists did a great job refining their ideas and successfully pitching in front of the judges and a large audience.”
Third Annual CEBIpitch Competition
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation will host the third annual CEBIpitch competition from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, 2019 in the Kent State Student Center.
CEBIpitch is an annual competition aimed to help grow and nurture startups within the College of Business Administration's entrepreneurship program. To qualify, applicants must be an entrepreneurship major or minor. Once selected, six finalists participate in a three-month mentorship program to prepare for the live pitch event. In total, $30,000 will be awarded at the live CEBIpitch event in 2019.
Learn more about the CEBIpitch competition here.