Third Place winner Samantha Aylor during the awards ceremony Thursday afternoon.
Photo By Jenna Smith

Center for Entrepreneurship Hosts 3rd Annual Pitch Competition

Diverse Student Teams Deliver Big Ideas

Brittany Murray
April 16, 2013

ATHENS, OH (April 16, 2013)—The Center for Entrepreneurship at Ohio University hosted its 3rd annual Idea Pitch Competition during the Student Innovation Expo at the Convocation Center on Thursday, April 11. Nine student teams were selected with each team receiving coaching prior to the competition.The teams competed for cash prizes through a ten minute pitch to a panel of judges which included business and academic professionals and former Pitch competition winners.

Center for Entrepreneurship Executive Director Lynn Gellermann commented, "Every year, this competition draws remarkable students with very impressive ideas. Everyone had fun and was a winner today!"

LiveIn, led by student innovator Sicong Li, took first place and a $500 prize for their mobile app that helps create, share, post, and explore local events. The app permits rapid identification and sharing of local events through social media, and enables rapid posting of customized promotional material. The LiveIn team, also including Erica Staeuble and Ben Weibel, placed second in the simultaneous Scripps Innovation Challenge on Thursday, and second at Startup Weekend earlier this semester.

Team leader Sicong Li states, "The Pitch Competition gives us recognition to business professionals; if we can win any prizes, that means our hard work is on the right path. It is a milestone that pushes us to finish the business plan outline, and it is an achievement that makes it easier to find funding."

Recovering Metals from Acid Mine Drainage through Electrolysis: A Pilot Study, the brain child of Husam Abu Hajar, took second place and a $200 prize. The study discussed the design and testing of a Nelsonville, Ohio pilot plant employing electrolysis to treat acid mine drainage from abandoned coal mines and to produce paint pigment from the precipitated sludge.

Samantha Aylor, from Ohio University's Southern Campus in Ironton, Ohio, won third place and the $100 prize for "Adventure Falls," an indoor water park resort in South Point, Ohio. Aylor states, "My idea was to use something fun to help build the economy" by starting the park in a low income area. Aylor was the first participant from a branch campus to participate in the competition and is very enthusiastic about the commercialization process going forward. "The next step will be going to an investors meeting to get funding for the idea," she explains.

The Center for Entrepreneurship's Idea Pitch Competition enables young, aspiring entrepreneurs to practice developing, researching, and articulating their ideas in a fast-paced, fun forum. Participants learn how to effectively pitch an idea before judges, demonstrate why their idea is going to work, and to do so in a short amount of time.

The 2013 Pitch judges were Dr. Shiyong Wu, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Dr. Geoffrey Dabelko, Professor and Director of Environmental Studies; Christin Tripp, Center for Entrepreneurship; Shmuel Roth, TechGROWTH graduate student staff member; and former Pitch competition winners Ian Bowman-Henderson, President of FlareCode, Inc. and Chad Mourning, President of Affine Technologies.