College of Business Administration Announces Second Annual Idea Pitch Competition

KENT, Ohio – The Kent State College of Business Administration’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation will host the second annual CEBI Idea Pitch competition at 4 p.m. on Monday, October 28 in the Kent State Student Center KIVA. The event, presented by the Ohio Innovation Fund, will feature nine finalists pitching their business ideas.


During the event, students will pitch their business ideas to a panel of entrepreneurs. All participants will win a cash prize and the first-place winner earns a guaranteed spot as a CEBIpitch finalist in the spring.


This year’s finalists are:

  • Rachel Johnson, entrepreneurship major
    • Cocktail Without Compromise is a premium canned cocktail made with all natural ingredients and no artificial sweeteners, creating a low calorie drink while delivering the complex flavor of a craft beverage.
  • Anastasia Konstantinopoulos, entrepreneurship major
    • Soseme is a study abroad app that enhances the experience of exploring a new city through safety, efficiency and organization. As a resource for travel, Soseme provides valuable information via social media. 
  • Sophie McGuire, hospitality management major
    • Sugar and Spice is a subscription baking business that delivers necessary tools, ingredients and instructions to your door to make a delicious homemade creation.  
  • Trenea Fox, entrepreneurship major
    • SpotLife is an apartment-finding solution tailored to college students to fit every student’s unique need. Utilizing their major, class locations and personal preferences, SpotLife finds the perfect home away from home.
  • Martin Peko, computer information systems major
    • Transparency is the first simulated stock trading application with a database of historical examples and data analytics to help everyday traders create winning strategies.
  • Nick Marsteller, entrepreneurship major
    • Citrous is an organic beverage company that handcrafts signature lemon-based drinks using only lemon, water and fresh herbs. Citrous builds consumer trust with a transparent process, simple ingredients and no artificial flavors or sweeteners.
  • Daniel Snyder, digital media production major
    • Daedalus Drones is a search and rescue drone designed to save lives utilizing RFID microchips using signal amplification and geolocating technology. The drone locates, assists and directs search teams for missing persons in cases of natural disasters or accidents.
  • Malaz Elgemiabby, architecture graduate student
    • Just Coffee makes coffee a daily urban experience for all by using a pop-up coffee bike that only serves freshly roasted and brewed high-quality coffee. The company’s mission is to make sure everyone can afford a good cup of coffee in their neighborhood. 
  • Amrth Ashok Shenava, computer science major
    • Eduverse is a digital college ID that replaces the physical card providing efficiency through built-in security, instant access to funds and automated student attendance. Built using Artificial Intelligence, Eduverse brings a new wave of technology to student life. 

This year’s panel of judges consists of:

  • Tom Haag ’85, an avid entrepreneur. In 2016, SGS Tool Company, the company for which Haag was the CEO, was acquired by Kyocera. Haag shifted into the President role for the combined companies and currently oversees $80 million in manufacturing and sales operations. His experience spans business operations in Ohio, Indiana and the United Kingdom.
  • Bill Baumel, an alumnus of The Ohio State University and University of Michigan, is a seasoned venture capitalist who spent 20+ years working in Silicon Valley before returning to his home state and starting the Ohio Innovation Fund (OIF). At OIF, he works with Ohio-based entrepreneurs to rapidly scale their companies and drive the growth of Ohio's entrepreneurial ecosystem. OIF companies swept both early and late-stage TechOhio Culture Awards in 2018, as well as earned the title of Best Early Stage Company in Ohio for three consecutive years.
  • Anne Skoch ’18 is the owner of Anne Cate, a made-in-America accessories boutique that specializes in skyline silhouette purses and pillows. Skoch was the winner of the 2018 CEBIpitch competition. Since graduating, she has pursued her business full-time and has grown the business from her dorm room to a manufacturing studio with five employees. Anne Cate distributes directly to its customer base and is selling in more than 65 accounts across the country, including the Art Institute of Chicago and
  • Jason Morris ’95 is a background screening and risk management expert currently serving as a consultant to the Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA). He founded Cleveland-based EmployeeScreenIQ in 1999, which became a global leader in employee screening, serving as its President and Chief Operating Officer until 2015. The company won numerous awards, including the prestigious Weatherhead 100 for high growth companies in northeast Ohio six years in a row.

Following the competition, a networking reception will be held in the Kent State Student Center. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register here.



Kent State College of Business Administration
Kent State University’s College of Business Administration is among the fewer than 1% of business colleges worldwide to obtain dual AACSB accreditation in both business and accounting.


The Kent State College of Business Administration ranks as one of the nation’s Best Business Schools by Princeton Review. The College is committed to sustainability as an advanced Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) signatory and is recognized by the Sales Education Foundation as a top university for professional sales education.



Media Contacts:

Joni Bowen,, 330-672-1279

POSTED: Friday, October 18, 2019 - 12:58pm