Phillip Johnson- Creative Now

Center for Entrepreneurship hosts 4th Annual Idea Pitch Competition

Zoe Graham
April 28, 2014

ATHENS, OH (April 28, 2014)— The Center for Entrepreneurship at Ohio University hosted its 4th annual Idea Pitch competition during the Student Research Expo at the Convocation Center on Thursday, April 11.

Ten teams competed for cash prizes by completing a 10-minute pitch to a panel of judges from TechGROWTH, the College of Business, the Voinovich School and former Pitch competitors. Students from across Ohio University pitched business ideas including start-up companies and nonprofit organizations.

“Entrepreneurship is about acting upon ideas and doing it,” said Bethany George, executive-in-residence for the Innovation Center and competition judge. “I am excited to see innovative ideas along with the quality of the presentations.”

Creative Now, led by student innovator Phillip Johnson, took first place and a $500 prize for a business start-up that provides affordable distribution and marketing strategies for small businesses and independent artists. Creative Now allows artists to advertise and post content in an effort to allow media creators, small online retailers, bloggers and independents to share their content among each other, creating a community of people who drive their own markets.

Enaskhi Roy pitched The Newsy Indian, a curated news website and received $200 and second place. The Newsy Indian addresses the problem of a lack of represented news from the home countries of U.S. diaspora communities. This project strives to provide not just content, but also to make the process of getting relevant news easier and more efficient.

This year’s competition was different than in years past, because students not only pitched for-profit businesses but also not-for-profit organizations.

“This notion of social purpose presence in entrepreneurship is growing,” said Shmuel Roth, business consultant for TechGROWTH Ohio and a competition judge. “The entrepreneur aspect allows social change — this is the future of nonprofits.”

Rhoda Doku won third place and $100 for pitching a not-for-profit organization, Remodeling Early Mothers Initiative (REMI). This organization is dedicated to the promotion of positive behavioral change through the provision of counseling services and educational and training opportunities for first-time mothers to guarantee quality lives for the mother and child.

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 Center for Entrepreneurship is a partnership between the College of Business and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.