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Entrepreneurs’ Ideas Highlighted at Kent State University

Posted Apr. 22, 2013
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Winners of the ideaLabs 2013 business idea competition
took home cash prizes for pitching new business ideas.

Kent State University’s College of Business Administration recently hosted the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium’s (EEC) ideaLabs 2013 competition where aspiring entrepreneurs from Kent State and nine other Ohio colleges and universities pitched their ideas for new businesses.

IdeaLabs is a business idea competition where undergraduate students pitch their best entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of experts. The competition 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?  and What resources are necessary?

“Startups are the buildings blocks of the new economy,” says Charles Stack, ideaLabs judge and founder/CEO of FlashStarts. “The Entrepreneurship Education Consortium’s ideaLabs competition provides a superb first step on the way to creating a successful business. The process encourages the try, try and try again iterative cycle that is so essential to entrepreneurial success.”

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: “Citrus Icer” – Bryan Nemire, Hiram College

Second Place - $3,000: “Matchstick” – Kevin Met, Cleveland State University

Third Place - $1,000: “Swipe-U-Lock” - Chimadika Okoye and Marie Brosovich, Case Western Reserve University
The competition’s judges were impressed with the quality of all the ideas and presentations.

"The ideaLabs competition is a great glimpse into the state of student entrepreneurship around the region,” says David Crain, ideaLabs judge and director of entrepreneurial services at MAGNET. “Every year, the competition seems better than before, and this year was no exception.  I have no doubt I was looking at some of our region's future success stories.”

Undergraduate students or teams of students from Ashland University, Baldwin-Wallace University, John Carroll University, Kent State University, Lake Erie College, The University of Akron and University of Mount Union also competed.

The competition was sponsored by the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium, a consortium of 11 colleges and universities that encourages student exploration of new, innovative ideas in their quest to either create new enterprises or become entrepreneurs within existing organizations. This event rotates among the 11-member institutions, and this was the first time the College of Business Administration and Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation at Kent State hosted the ideaLabs competition.

Judges included Dorothy Baunach, president emeritus at NorTech; David Crain, director for entrepreneurial services at MAGNET; John Dearborn, president of Jumpstart; John Monter, partner at Centre Partners Management; Barbara Morgan, investment associate at North Coast Angel Fund; Elise Saur, manager for transaction advisory service at Ernst & Young; and Charles Stack, founder of

The Entrepreneurship Education Consortium is grateful to The Burton D. Morgan Foundation for its generous support of ideaLabs and the consortium’s Entrepreneurship Immersion Week.
For more information about entrepreneurship at Kent State, contact Julie Messing, director for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation, at or 330-672-9430, or visit .

For more information about Kent State’s College of Business Administration, visit