Client Spotlight

LaunchNET has been assisting Kent State students, staff, faculty, and alumni in starting and growing businesses, creative collaborations, and innovative projects since 2012.

Here we are happy to share some of the success stories that have been featured.

Alumnus Pushes Student Rental Company to the Next Level Through Pandemic Screenshots

When Curtis Cofojohn returned to Kent State after serving in the Army, he faced an issue many college students do: where was he going to live? Cofojohn’s own experiences with off-campus housing led him to create a website solution that serves the needs of both students and landlords, during the pandemic.

Read More

Kent State Student Wins $1,000 in NEO IdeaLabs Pitch Competition

Luke Leyden

On Thursday October 22, Luke Leyden (junior, computer engineering technology) found himself pitching his entrepreneurial venture, Trolder, to a panel of judges via Zoom in the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium's annual IdeaLabs competition. Leyden, impressing the judges with his knowledge and passion, placed 3rd, taking home $1,000.

Read More

Alumnus Who Aimed to Solve Major Problem Raises $25 Million

The Remesh team in its office during a presidential primary debate in 2020

Alumnus Andrew Konya, '10, graduated from Kent State University with a degree in physics and started chiseling away at what is now his company, Remesh, in 2013. Remesh, has gone on to receive $25 million in Series A-2 funding to continue expanding and creating solutions.

Read More

Client Profile: Yayra Tamakloe

Yayra Tamakloe

Have you met Yayra? If not, you should!  

Yayra is a Kent State alumna (2019, BFA Fashion Design) and has been an exuberant client of LaunchNET for over 2 years, having explored multiple venture ideas and placed in the 2018 Idea Olympics as well as earning a Venture Fund award for her herbal tea infusions idea [which was delicious, btw! -tm.]. 

Read More

Client Profile: Mica Pflug

rags related boutique logo

This month we are talking to Mica Pflug, a senior Entrepreneurship major, about her business Rags Related Boutique

Read More

Client Profile: Angelique Wong & Stay Stylin

Products from Stay Stylin

In honor of Black Business Month, we are shining a light on some of our AMAZING LaunchNET clients! 

Read More

Fashion Industry Studies Students and Faculty Receive Multiple Honors in 2020 Spring Semester

Students and faculty from the Kent State University School of Fashion’s graduate program, Fashion Industry Studies, received an array of honors and awards throughout the spring semester, many of them from the Kent State University’s LaunchNET,  a co-curricular, cross-campus program that serves students, alumni, staff and faculty interested in entrepreneurship and innovation through advising, events, and connections to the greater Northeast Ohio community.

Read More

Client Profile: Linden Lehner

Linden Lehner

In honor of the class of 2020, we are profiling a very recent alum, Linden Lehner and her business, Linden Lane Artworks.

Read More

Masks for Hope – Kent State Students Take Steps to Help Save Lives

Irvin Cardenas and Yuqiao Xu load donated safety supplies that they delivered to Summa Health in Akron.

“We have to start knitting masks. My director of health just emailed the entire staff.” For Irvin Cardenas, a robotics researcher and computer science Ph.D. student in the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State University, these were the worst words he had ever heard from a close friend working at one of Cleveland’s top hospitals.

Read More

Client Profile: Dr. Tameka Ellington

Dr Tameka Ellington

Dr. Tameka Ellington, Fashion School faculty and entrepreneur, took some time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions about her latest venture as a coach and author. 

Read More

Partner Profile: Austin Briggs

Austin C. Briggs

We recently chatted with Kent State alum Austin Briggs, who will be the first speaker for this semester's Build Your Own Brand (BYOB) cohort on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. 


Austin is a native of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, who was able to overcome a troubled youth by finding his calling in entrepreneurship. Austin graduated from Kent State University with a BA in Entrepreneurship in 2010. 

Read More

Client Profile: Alexandra Reich

alexandra Reich's quilts from upcycled army fatigues

You might call Alli Reich an overachiever... and you wouldn't be wrong! Her story encompasses a true entrepreneurial journey of exploring her passions. Lucky for us she took some time to tell us about it.

Read More

Client Profile: Carrie Esser

Carrie Esser: professional bee facepaint

Carrie Esser (2018) recently made it to the Top 5 in the country for the NYX FACE Awards, a national makeup artist competition. While she didn't end up the grand prize winner in that contest, we know she is definitely a winner for continuing to work on her passion and pound the pavement to make her dreams come true! We were lucky enough to catch up with Carrie and find out more about the experience as well as her entrepreneurial journey. 

Read More

Kent State Senior Finishes School While Managing Her Full-Time Business

Students Participate in Program at the Rising Star Center for the Arts

Bethany Westphal is a very busy person. Like most seniors, Ms. Westphal spends her time doing school work and preparing for graduation in May. But, at the same time, she also runs the full-time business she started herself.

Read More

Client Profile: Chinonso Aladi

designs by Nonso Aladi

Chinonso is a now-graduate of the Kent State Fashion School and hails from Nigeria, which is the inspiration for her fashion line that incorporates traditional African fabrics into modern pieces. While researching production possibilities for the full line, she has been designing and sewing custom pieces for customers.

Read More

Client Profile: Aceani Ross-Bigbee

Aceani Ross-Bigbee

In addition to starting her own fashion brand in high school, Aceani Ross-Bigbee has dreams to inspire other would-be fashionistas become their best selves. We sat down to talk to her about what she’s working on and a little about herself.

Tell us about your new venture, The Possible Me.

The Possible Me is based on the Possible Selves theory. Possible Selves focuses on self-improvement and growth through the idea of 'trying on' different futures.

Read More

College of Public Health International Students Win National Award for Togetherness Application

Togetherness Team

A team of College of Public Health international graduate students received a first-place award for their Togetherness application at the 7th-annual Mission: Life competition, hosted at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.

Read More

Student Entrepreneur Perseveres

Kent State student Gregory Joyce and his brand Provok Clothing

Transfer student Gregory Joyce II is a great example of the wide variety of clients served by LaunchNET. While many students come to the office looking to start a venture of some type, Gregory came in with multiple businesses already going and ideas for more.

Read More

A new center for the arts rises from student's passion

Bethany Westphal is a Kent State student passionate about the arts

As a passionate student of the arts, Bethany Westphal felt the need to share her love with others, specifically younger children, and help them avoid some of the negative experiences she had with music teachers growing up.

She recently opened Rising Star Center for the Arts in downtown Akron, where she hopes to “create a positive, fun, and encouraging learning environment for the arts so that everyone can be free to pursue their creative dreams.”

Read More

Client Profile: Obianuju "Uju" Izuchukwu

LaunchNET client profile: Pop Style

Uju is the founder of Pop Style (@_popstyle), an on-campus pop-up thrift shop that allows you to buy, donate and trade clothing for $3, $7, or $10. Customers can donate clothes they don't want anymore but someone else could wear and trade clothes at each price point.

Read More

By Katie K: Kent State jewelry

kent state university bracelets

By Katie K is a jewelry line created by Katie Kimble, a 2017 Kent State College of Business graduate and current Higher Education and Student Affairs grad student

Read More

Fashion Design Student Wins LaunchNET Idea Olympics Competition


LaunchNet Olympics Winner Symone Baskerville holding her winning check for $2,500


Kent Fashion School junior, Symone Baskerville, came in first place in the 2018 LaunchNET Idea Olympics last month, for her fabric store idea titled, “Kent Fabrics”.

Read More

He Used Perseverance and Passion to Find his Starring Role in Animation

Andrew Badger holds up a poster from his anime collection.

As a graduate student, Andrew Badger overcame endless obstacles to turn his admiration for anime into a trustworthy business.

Read More

Kent State Track Star Goes the Distance to Up the Speed of Young Athletes

Kent State's Richard Dahome creates a camp for young athletes

Kent State's Richard Dahome draws from his resources and dreams to create a camp for young athletes who want to increase their speed.


Read More

Students Turn Smartphone Cases Into Lifesaving Medical Devices

Case.MD helps make emergency medicine more convenient and safe.

Three Kent State students have created smartphone cases that contain vital medication.

Read More

Kent State Fashion Merchandising Student Turns Passion Into Pay

Anne Skoch, a junior fashion merchandising major, shares the skyline pillows that will be part of her new online boutique, Anne Cate.

For Kent State University student Anne Skoch, a junior fashion merchandising major, her post-graduation career has been in the works since age 13. Upon graduation, she will transition from full-time student to full-time entrepreneur as the owner of the online boutique Anne Cate.

Read More

Kent State Student Overcomes Stigma of Hemp Fibers to Create Sustainable Jeans

Kent State students use hemp fibers to create jeans.

Kent State student crosses the globe to find a sustainable crop that does not require pesticides or herbicides to grow, and yields four times as much as cotton.

Read More

Kent State Entrepreneur Wins Burton D. Morgan PITCH U Competition

Photo of Shanice Cheatham

Kent State University’s Shanice Cheatham is one step closer to helping health care workers stop the spread of disease in underdeveloped countries. Cheatham took first place and won $4500 in the PITCH U elevator competition at the University of Akron, with the generous support of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

Read More

Women Turn Ideas Into Businesses

Walk the halls of some secondary private schools in Ohio and you will see students adorned in what appears to be typical school attire: striped skirts, traditional ties and stark white button-up oxfords. What you won't see is the hard work behind the attire.





Read More