Two students tied for first place in the annual spring idea competition, ideabuild!, on March 19, 2014.
Nicole Pueyo Svoboda ’15, nursing major from Laguna Beach, Calif., presented “Biotikos,” and Justin Lonis ’14, accounting and financial management major from Mentor, presented “Advanced Balance Board.” Both were entrepreneurial ideas for the health and medical field, and the panel of five judges decided to award both first place and a $1,000 prize.
Cory Weddington ’17, of Aurora, took third place and a prize of $250 for his idea, “Wing-Span,” a revolutionary aviation product.
The Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship has hosted ideabuild! and ideablitz! (the fall idea competition) for five years now, and Kay Molkentin, director of the Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship, said students’ ideas just keep getting better. This year, 36 students presented 14 ideas, both in teams and individually. Each team had six minutes to present their idea, followed by three minutes of questions and answers. The Center hosted several idea workshops throughout the semester to prepare them for the competition and presentation.
Local professionals and entrepreneurs judged the competition: Scott Altman, senior vice president of Raymond James; Dar Caldwell, founder and managing partner, Shaker LaunchHouse; Al Meszaros, founder and partner, Midwest Investments; and Chris Romeo, owner, Attention to Detail. Judging criteria included:
- Idea or Concept
- Market Need and Industry
- Technology Attributes
- Competitive Attributes and Pricing
- Quality of Presentation
Hiram College will send one representative (either Pueyo Svoboda or Lonis) to ideaLabs at Ashland University on April 3, 2014. There, the student will face off against representatives from other Northeast Ohio colleges in the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium: Ashland University, Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, John Carroll University, Kent State University, Lake Erie College, Lorain County Community College, University of Akron and University of Mount Union.
Molkentin, who is president of the Consortium, said Hiram students tend to fare very well against their peers, and last year, Bryan Nemire ’13 won the regional competition.