Innovation Triumphs at the 2013 Kent State Business Idea CompetitionPosted March 18, 2013
Advancement in headgear technology and protection was recognized when Jake Wolfe, a Kent State University sophomore, won first place in the annual Kent State Business Idea Competition for his business, WolfeCon Cushioning Solutions.
Wolfe, a 20-year-old entrepreneurship major from Mayfield Village, Ohio, represented one of nine Kent State student-teams that pitched their business concepts on Feb. 28 before a panel of five regional entrepreneurs. Serving on the panel were Jim Cossler, CEO of the Youngstown Business Incubator; Rick Schultz, CEO of Spectrum Surgical Instruments Corp.; Christine M. Brown, president of Marketing Resources & Results Inc.; Chris Lintner, project manager of Public Insight Corp.; and Tim Clepper, senior vice president of Morgan Stanley.
“I am very excited and appreciative to have won the Business Idea Competition to help accelerate WolfeCon in the right direction,” Wolfe says.
Wolfe was awarded $1,500 for his efforts and will advance to the 2013 ideaLabs competition, a regional competition sponsored by the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium (EEC) whose membership is made up of 11-member Northeast Ohio universities. The 2013 EEC ideaLabs competition will be held on the Kent Campus on March 21.
“This year’s Business Idea Competition was particularly competitive,” says Julie Messing, executive director of entrepreneurship initiatives at Kent State. “The competition judges were most impressed with the high quality of ideas and well-developed presentations that they witnessed. We are fortunate to have a strong entrepreneurial culture at Kent State University with the necessary resources to connect our student entrepreneurs to the wider Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial eco-system.”
Second place went to the New Fuel, a motion graphics, animation and video production company created by Brian Recktenwald and Alex Kurr. Recktenwald, a Kent State senior majoring in managerial marketing, and Kurr, a Kent State junior in the visual communication and design department, were awarded $750 for venture seed-funding.
Blackwolf Tactical, a company that turns movies, video games and books into real-life adventures through immersive and interactive environments, won third place in the competition. Founder Brian Bowles, a Kent State junior entrepreneurship major, received $500 for his company’s future growth.
This year’s Kent State Business Idea Competition was sponsored by the university’s Blackstone LaunchPad and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation. For more information, go to www.kent.edu/blackstonelaunchpad or www.kent.edu/cebi.