Hiram College

It was “Entrepreneurship 101” Wednesday, March 28, as budding entrepreneurs from Hiram and nine other Ohio colleges pitched their ideas for new businesses at the ideaLabs 2012 competition.

A business idea competition where undergraduates pitch their best entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of experts, ideaLabs encourages students from all disciplines to think about new venture ideas, applying the feasibility study methodology and answering three key questions:  Is there a market?  Do the financials make sense?  What resources are necessary?

The winners took home cash prizes and high hopes that their big ideas would translate into big money down the road.

The winners were:

First Place-$5,000: “ The Pothole Patch,” – Nicholas Barron, Case Western Reserve University

Second Place – $3,000: “EvenPlayingField.com” James Basar and Amanda Mass, Baldwin-Wallace College

Third Place – $1,000: “Fresh Scent Surgical Masks,” Breana Jacobs and Chad Radke

Kent State University

Although Hiram’s entrepreneurs, Elida Hernandez, ‘15, Kyle Meggas, ’15,  and Curtis Webster, ’15, did not win, the judges were impressed with the quality of  their proposal and all of the others presented.

“In my work, I see many presentations, often from entrepreneurs with more than 20 years of industry experience,” said John Dearborn, an ideaLabs judge and President of JumpStart, a nonprofit supporting Northeast Ohio entrepreneurs. “The student participants and their coaches should be proud. They clearly put in a great deal of effort and their presentations were as good or better than any I have seen.”

Undergraduate students or teams of students from Ashland University, Cleveland State University, John Carroll University, Lake Erie College, The University of Akron and University of Mount Union also showed off their ideas in the Kennedy Center Ballroom.

The competition was sponsored by hosts the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium (EEC), a consortium of nine schools that encourages student exploration of new, innovative ideas in their quest to either create new enterprises or become entrepreneurs within existing organizations. It was the first time Hiram’s Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship had hosted the contest.

Judges included: Dorothy Baunach, President Emeritus, NorTech; Trevor Clatterbuck, Founder and CEO, FreshFork Market; Dearborn; J. Marin Erbaugh, Chairman, Board of Advisors, CEBI, Kent State University and Trustee, Burton D. Morgan Foundation; Michael S. Moloney, Director, EY Knowledge, Ernst & Young; and John Myers, Executive-in-Residence, University of Akron Research Foundation.

For more information on Entrepreneurship at Hiram, contact Kay Molkentin, Director, Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship at Hiram College, molkentinkf@hiram.edu or 330-569-5256, or visit http://www.eecneohio.com .