By: Callie Crum
Building a skate park in Ada. Starting an ONU Spirit Squad for home football games. Converting decommissioned oil tankers to clean up the ocean. These are just a few of the ideas pitched at the Dicke College of Business’ Idea Pitch contest and the High School Entrepreneurship Scholarship Competition joint event held Wednesday evening in the Dicke Building.
The evening consisted of two separate competitions, running simultaneously throughout the evening. Students were asked to develop and research an idea that improves society, develops technology to improve our lives, improves human health care, or creates jobs. Then the students were judged on a two-minute pitch of their idea and a four-minute question and answer session.
The contest proved to be full of innovative and creative ideas. Nichole May, a senior from Van Buren High School, pitched an idea to hold a free health care clinic at her high school, and had even completed all the necessary tasks to actually hold the clinic next fall. Corey Lotridge, a senior from Wapakoneta High School, pitched an idea to convert decommissioned oil tankers into recycling machines to clean up the great amounts of pollution and litter in the ocean. And Chelsea Albert, a business and arts and sciences student, pitched an idea in the college competition to start an individual fitness program for freshman to avoid the infamous “Freshman Fifteen.”
The first round of the college division offered cash prizes for the top four individuals in each of the four preliminary rooms, with the top two in the each room advancing to the final round. The first round $25 cash prize winners were Gregory Dell (business), Ashley Bonamer (arts and sciences), Delaine Farr (arts and sciences), Kimberlee Randall (business), Andrea Meers (business), Ashley Johnson (business), Scott Turner (business) and Brittany Helmig (business). The $50 cash prize winners and finalists for the contest were Chelsea Albert (business, arts and sciences), Catherine Merchak (arts and sciences), Matt Barbour (pharmacy), Spencer Cupp (engineering), Ryan Lowry (business), Katie Wade (arts and sciences), Renee LeGenre (arts and sciences), and Jen Tabar (arts and sciences).
In the final round, two $50 prizes, a $100 prize and a $200 grand prize were awarded to students. The top four in the final round were Ryan Lowry and Katie Wade, each winning an additional $50, Renee LeGendre, winning an additional $100, and the competition winner was Jen Tabar, winning an additional $200.
This was the first year the Entrepreneurship Program hosted a joint competition that included high school students. The competition was designed to run identical to the college idea pitch competition, but also offer $2,000 renewable scholarships to Ohio Northern for the top four scoring high school students. This contest was focused on bringing premier ideas and exceptional high school students to Ohio Northern for a one-of-a-kind competition. High school students from all across Ohio and Pennsylvania competed in the competition.
The top four high school students awarded the $2000 scholarships were Megan Bookser, Oakland Catholic High School, Pittsburgh, PA; Nichole May, Van Buren High School, Van Buren, OH; Samantha Schulte, St. Joseph Academy, Cleveland, OH; and Nathan Zelmer, Newark High School, Newark, OH.
The Entrepreneurship program will be hosting a poster pitch competition April 28, 2010 and any interested college students are eligible to enter. Cash prizes will be offered, and more details about contest requirements and how to enter can be found at www.onu.edu/entrepreneurship. You can also find videos of the winning idea pitches and more at http://www.youtube.com/user/ONUEntrepreneurCntr.