Hiram students are creatively solving problems, one pitch at a time. Through the Burton D. Morgan Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship, students of any major can look at the world around them, think of how to make it better, and share their ideas through ideablitz!. ideablitz! is an idea-pitching contest that allows students to promote an idea for a new or update to an existing business, service, or product. 

This year, seven teams participated and marketed their idea to a panel of select judges consisting of business owners and entrepreneurs. Students have five minutes to pitch their idea and then have a two-minute session of intense questioning from the panel of judges. 

This year’s judges included Joe Koelliker from Koelliker and Associates, Scott Altman from Raymond James, Tommy Rink from Rink Insurance, and Al Meszaros from Carnegie Investments. 

ideablitz! is a very exciting time in the Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship. “Students need to convey the market for their idea, what makes it special or unique, the value proposition, define the customer and how they the participants would develop relationships with the customer and how they would get the product or service to the customer,” said Dr. David Strukel, director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship and professor in the Scarborough School of Business and Communication. 

Winners of ideablitz! 2023 include: 

First place: Automatic Silverware Roller (ASR) 

Pitched by Kenien Newsome, Daynna Mekaru, Ayden Smith, and Caitlyn Kauffman, the ASR reduces the amount of time spent on rolling silverware. During events and rush hours, food-service employees have difficulty keeping up with the rolling silverware demand, as one roll of silverware can take minutes to finish – which is time they don’t have. 

First place winners are pictured above.

Second place: Virtual Fit Mirror 

Shared by Connor Hecker, Adam Sibila, Ethan Stout, and Diego Calixto, VirtuFit is an AI-powered mirror where users can virtually try on clothing items to see how they will fit. 

ideablitz! second place winners

Third place: Wheel Heat 

Marketed by Nathan Cooper, Devon Farley, Isabella Simmons, and Drew Hostetler, this team offers a cheaper way to make your car luxurious, with heated steering wheel covers. They plan to partner with Weather Tech to offer custom fit steering wheel covers.  

Wheel Heat also proposed to have their steering wheel covers heated by solar power with a rechargeable battery, winning the Sustainability Award. 

ideablitz! third place winners

By Hannah Maxwell