Kent State University's College Of Business Administration Student Wins Pitch Competition


Kent State University’s College of Business Administration hosted the Ms. Entrepreneur Pitch Competition in the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation’s John S. Brinzo Laboratory.

Eleven female undergraduate business students participated in the competition, pitching ideas such as counseling services, customizable children’s clothing, enhanced military combat gear and skateboard art and design.

“Pitch competitions give students the opportunity to connect with regional business leaders and experience a camaraderie with other entrepreneurial students,” said Denise Easterling, entrepreneurial course instructor in the College of Business Administration. “Students receive beneficial feedback on how to improve both their pitch and their business model.”

Kate Davis, a senior entrepreneurship and marketing double major, was the winner, receiving the $2,000 grand prize, an entry to the FES Pitch Competition, marketing support from the College of Business Administration, advertising support from Contempo Communications and venture mentorship from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation. Davis hopes to start her own company, Prickle, which offers customizable insulin cases for diabetic patients.

Three female entrepreneurs judged the pitch contestants. The judges included Gina Dalessandro, co-founder of Quéz Media Marketing, a design agency that allows organizations to personalize media campaigns. Dalessandro received her Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degree from John Carroll University in 1979.

Ronda Toth, the owner of The Legacy Group, an insurance product company she and her husband founded in 2004. She graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in philoso phy from Miami University.

Lastly, LaShawn Reed, the director of corporate relations at Ohio Minority Supplier. She assists with business development, strategic engagements and corporate practices and insight. In 2015, Reed earned her Masters of Business Administration from Ursuline College.

Kent State alumna, Cheryl Petrovic, helped fund the $2,000 cash prize, when asked why Petrovic replied, “I want to mentor students and pass along my experiences and wisdom. I had to learn how to start a business the hard way and want to provide resources and advice to today’s young entrepreneurs to help them succeed.” Cheryl is a certified K-12 special education teacher and started her own homeschooling business. Her husband has a manufacturing business, ThermEquip, based out of Canton, Ohio.

Other pitch contestants include:

  • Paige Forbush, freshman managerial marketing major
  • Abby Green, senior entrepreneurship major
  • Michaela Judy, sophomore business management major
  • Katie Kustanbauter, senior entrepreneurship and marketing double major
  • Candice McGill, senior entrepreneurship major
  • Muna Mohammed, senior entrepreneurship and finance double major
  • Zoe Mulle, senior entrepreneurship major
  • Ali Rose, senior entrepreneurship and marketing double major
  • Molly Schatzel, senior entrepreneurship and marketing double major
  • Dakota Steed, junior entrepreneurship major


POSTED: Thursday, October 22, 2015 12:00 AM
Updated: Saturday, March 25, 2023 06:35 AM