“Shark Tank” style entrepreneurship competitions don’t just make great television programs, they also provide great learning opportunities and give contestants a chance to launch their business ideas. Hiram College’s Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship provided students with similar opportunities yesterday evening in the Kennedy Center during the Ideablitz entrepreneurship competition where the winning ideas included a business in the beverage industry, a bipartisan research company and a restaurant industry mobile application.
A total of 30 students, some competing individually and some in teams, presented 11 ideas. Richie Webb ’16 of Alicante, Spain took first place and $500 with “Cold One Done” and Kayla Kennedy ’16 of Pittsburgh won second place and $300 with “AccuSci.” A team of four students – Jeff Rose ’18 of Ocoee, Fla.; Allison Vannoy ‘18 of Mantua, Ohio; Diego Navar ’19 of Baytown, Texas; and Rebecca Pochedly ’18 of Hiram, Ohio – took third place and $200 with “Dine or Dash Application.”
Contestants had six minutes to present their ideas to the panel of judges, followed by a three-minute question-and-answer session. The ideas were judged on originality, market need, competitive attributes, pricing and the quality of the presentation. The panel of judges included entrepreneurs from local businesses who have served as judges for the competition for more than five years.
“The judges are always amazed by the problems and the innovative solutions that Hiram students present,” said Kay Molkentin, director of the Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship.
Among the other ideas presented were concepts in the technology, paint, automotive, manufacturing and consumer goods industries.
Molkentin says that she and David Kurkurza, visiting professor of entrepreneurship and academic program director for the Center, look forward to having all the students who presented improve upon their ideas and present them at the spring entrepreneurship competition, Ideabuild, on March 16, 2016.