Hiram College


Ethan Holmes ’16 won second place and a $600 check for his business in the Charter One Foundation’s Student Business Idea Competition on April 7, 2014.

He was announced as one of three finalists in late March, and leading up to the competition, the public had the opportunity to vote online for the best idea. Holmes won the popular vote, which counted as one fourth of his final score.

The contest was part of the 2014 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Holmes attended the conference, and had the chance to pitch his business, Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce, to investors, journalists and resource providers to get feedback, advice on legal matters and exposure.

Holmes started his business, which sells 100 percent all-natural applesauce made with Ohio farm-fresh apples, as a freshman in high school. Since then, he has continued to grow the business, but the product is currently only sold at local farmers markets and tasting events.

Holmes plans to use the money he won for finishing second place for inventory and legal costs associated with getting his product in grocery stores by December 2014. His product offers a healthier, more natural and better tasting alternative to grocery store applesauce brands. Ten percent of his proceeds benefit University Hospital’s childhood obesity initiatives.

Holmes’s entrepreneurial is inspired by the book “Reallionaire” by Farrah Gray, who made one million dollars by the time he was 14 years old.

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