After weeks of hard work and workshops, Hiram College students went “mad” on Tuesday, Nov. 10, for the opportunity to present ideas that can make a difference in the world. Students presented four ideas at the Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship’s first MAD Money Challenge, tackling everything from healthy eating, to social issues on campus, to concerns in health care.
The competition challenged students to create a “social enterprise” – a sustainable business that has a positive social impact on humans, animals or the environment. Participants determined the social issue(s) at the core of their enterprise and honed their ideas in a workshop prior to the competition.
“The problems and solutions presented in this competition were as diverse as the students are,” said Kay Molkentin, director of the Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship.
Economics major Hamza Raja ’18 of Islamabad, Pakistan, took first prize and $1,000 for his idea “Fresh Organic Unprocessed Restaurant” (F.O.U.R.), which aims to improve the way Americans dine out. Second prize and $500 went to nursing major Marley Oles ’18 of Berlin Center, Ohio, for “Sol Hygienics” which aims to solve health care-associated infections (HAIs).
First and second place were awarded based not only the contestants’ ideas, but also on their written and oral presentations and their responses to questions asked by the judges. Contestants were also judged on, among other factors, the originality, feasability and the potential social impact of their ideas.
The Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship hosts events and competitions and has an entrepreneurship minor to foster innovative, critical and creative thinking for students who aspire to create and run their own businesses, or who want to be prepared to solve tough challenges in their future career fields.
The Center’s next entrepreneurship competition, ideablitz!, takes place 5-8:30 p.m. tomorrow in Dix Dining Room at the Kennedy Center.