Kent State’s College of Business Administration CEBIpitch Competition Awards $30,000 to Student Businesses
To a panel of seven executives circled like sharks, seven student-run businesses pitched their ideas for a chance to win $30,000 in cash prizes at the CEBIpitch Competition held at Kent State University.
The Kent State College of Business Administration’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation hosted the 2018 CEBIpitch competition that featured seven businesses created by entrepreneurship majors and minors at Kent State. Finalists were chosen to participate in a three-month mentorship program to prepare for the live pitch event that took place recently.
“The second annual CEBIpitch competition showcased the College of Business Administration’s talented student entrepreneurs and was a testament to the guidance and mentorship they received from college faculty and professional entrepreneurs over the past several months,” says Deborah F. Spake, Ph.D., dean of Kent State’s College of Business Administration. “In addition to cash prizes awarded, the feedback each participant received from the judges during the event was invaluable.”
A first prize of $15,000 was awarded to Anne Skoch of Anne Cate, a fashion brand that showcases skyline designs on purses and pillows. The second prize of $7,500 went to Jenn Uren and Marissa McKinney of Fabnetics, a unique clothing line made with magnet-lined fabric for those suffering from arthritis and other mobility challenges. A third prize of $5,000 went to Luke Nye of Bedrock, an innovative cloud service and hybrid web application for the modern construction manager and general contractor. The People’s Choice Award of $500, voted on by audience members, went to Ms. Uren and Ms. McKinney of Fabnetics.
Other participating student businesses included Brianna Steigerwald of B.E. Photography, a lifestyle and corporate photography business; Paris Johns and Abu Konteh of Ozi, a multipurpose errand service; Chanda Chilupe of Pop Out, a mobile application connecting students to area beauty services; and Zach Liptak of Vooster, a video sharing platform.
The finalists pitched their businesses live to seven Kent State alumni judges, all top executives:
- Renée DeLuca Dolan, Founder and President, Contempo Design + Communications – Ms. DeLuca Dolan is a member of the Kent State College of Business Administration's National Advisory Board and a former member of the Kent State Alumni Board. She graduated from Kent State in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in telecommunications.
- Timothy D. Eippert, Owner and President, MC Sign Company – Mr. Eippert serves as past chair of the College of Business Administration’s National Advisory Board and is a member of the Kent State University Foundation Board. He graduated from Kent State in 1992 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing and management.
- Rob Heiser, President and CEO, Segmint Inc. – Mr. Heiser is also co-founder, president and CEO of WiredViews Inc., a boutique digital marketing agency. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in management and information systems from Kent State in 2001.
- Robert Morocco, President and CEO, CyMedica Orthopedics – Prior to his current position, Mr. Morocco held positions as president and CEO of Orthoscan, chief financial officer for Isotis and chief financial officer for OPUS Medical. He graduated from Kent State in 1990 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting.
- Gregg Mylett, Founder and CEO, Corporate United – Mr. Mylett created the nation’s largest office products buying group, facilitating the first sourcing initiative in 1998 and establishing a contracted program that delivered tremendous value to each of the original five participants: Lubrizol, Marconi Medical Systems, Parker Hannifin, Progressive and Sherwin-Williams. He graduated from Kent State in 1986 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing.
- Scott D. Peters, Founder, Chairman, CEO and President of Healthcare Trust of America Inc. – Healthcare Trust of America Inc. (NYSE:HTA) is the largest publicly traded real estate investment trust dedicated to the medical office sector. Mr. Peters graduated from Kent State in 1981 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting and finance.
- Michael D. Solomon, CEO and Founder, XYZ Color Science – Mr. Solomon has been involved in early stage technology companies and emerging growth companies as an entrepreneur, investor, senior manager and board member. He is a member of the Kent State University Board of Trustees and the Kent State University Foundation Board. He graduated from Kent State in 1974 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
The purpose of the CEBIpitch is to help grow and support startups within the College of Business Administration’s entrepreneurship program. The Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation immerses students in entrepreneurship education and experiences, advances entrepreneurial research and nurtures regional outreach.