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March 22, 2019 : Ohio University Eastern to Host 4th Annual OUE Shark Challenge

ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio – Ohio University Eastern Campus will host the final round of the OUE Shark Challenge, an event focused on creating innovative ideas in the Ohio Valley, on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the Shannon Hall Theater.


Major funding for the event is provided by TechGROWTH Ohio, through which entrepreneurs and technology start-up companies in southeast Ohio can access business assistance and sources of capital.  TechGROWTH Ohio is a public-private partnership connected with Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.


In the OUE Shark Challenge, collegiate teams compete for a first-place prize of $1,500.  According to Mike Jacoby, CEO and President of the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG) which serves twenty-five counties in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio, the economic and social future of our region will have a direct correlation to the education, skills and entrepreneurial talents of young people that we can retain in our communities. 


“It’s a digital world and global economy,” said Jacoby.  “People can work from anywhere, and the next Apple or Amazon will no doubt be founded and built in a place that nurtures creative thinking, problem solving, risk taking, the disciplined application of smart business practices in a mentoring environment.  Programs like Ohio University Eastern’s Shark Challenge should be widespread and part of every student’s curriculum.”


Among the judges is Denise M. Penz, president and CEO of Preferred Holdings LLC, an advisory firm serving the financial services industry in areas such as mergers and acquisitions.  Ms. Penz, formerly of Home Savings Bank is a returning judge who is looking forward to another great year.  Ms. Penz said, “I am always astounded by the ideas presented and the professionalism in the presentations is impressive.  I feel inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of the participants.”


Ms. Penz will be joined on the judging panel by Wendy Anderson, community leader and director of the St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce and Ed Looman, APEG’s  project manager for Jefferson, Harrison, Carroll, Holmes, Coshocton, Guernsey, Belmont and Monroe Counties and the organization’s manager of shale development.


The OUE Shark Challenge is free and open to the public.  A reception with light refreshments will conclude the evening.  For more information on the OUE Shark Challenge please e-mail