Eighty-eight ideas were pitched by students from across the state in OAN’s Pitch Challenge! Pitches were for diverse business ideas and social ventures including an algorithm to reduce health disparities, clothing designed to promote a healthy self-image, a mask-of-the-month club, and conuts (combination cookie and donut – yum!).

Youth serving programs – including Canton Parks and Recreation, Merrick House, East End Neighborhood House, Akron Public Schools Library, Upward Bound, Girl Scouts, SWAG, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Scranton Road Ministries, New Life CDC, and more – introduced entrepreneurship using free K-12 curricula from Young Entrepreneur Institute. The culmination of the unit was creation of a pitch video, which was entered into OAN’s Summer Pitch Challenge.

Check out the top pitches (click the name to open a new window and view the video):

Kindergarten through Fourth Grade

1st Place: Pick Up Game – Jaxon Sherwin

2nd Place: Sam’s Handy Handle Helper – Sam Owsley

3rd Place: Renewable Energy DIY Kits – Nissi Xavier

Honorable Mention: RoboKitty – Juliette Cuffaro

Honorable Mention: SpecX Finder – Samrithy Balaji

Fifth through Ninth Grade

1st Place: Paw Park – Rocco Garlando

2nd Place: Slap Mask – Martha Coughlin

3rd Place: Strype – Your Own Personal Toothpaste – Eliana Fieldman

Honorable Mention: Pet Portraits – Christiana Paul

Honorable Mention: Zen Ten – Sebastian Garland

Ninth Grade through 2020 High School Graduates

1st Place: There’s Still Hope (TSH) – Nicholas Reese and Amaree Clark

2nd Place: Grip A Bus – Sauda Rashid

3rd Place: Keep Alert – Ashton Cofer

Honorable Mention: Artists for Opportunities – Madelyn Searle

Honorable Mention: Sense Ahead – Mantas Viazmitnas

OAN Pitch Challenge judges scored pitches and provided feedback including: “These were really amazing!” “All these kids are winners!” “The future is bright with so many entrepreneurs!  I was amazed at the presentations. Most were excellent and all gave a great effort. I would buy several of these items,” “It was fun,” “and “Thank you for a most worthy experience.”

Thank you to Rev1 Ventures for donating registration in their Customer Learning Lab to the winner of the High School category.

Thank you to all OAN Pitch Challenge judges:

Zulene Adams, Z Promotions

Deonna Barnett, Aventi Enterprises

Patricia Bobo, Cards for All People LLC

Yvonne Cherell, Freeman Focus Management, Inc.

Regina Clemons, Cards for All People LLC

Carlos Delgado, Lorain County Community College

Judy Dollison, Better Business Bureau – Central Ohio

Heather Harmon, Rev1 Ventures

Dr. Kirk Kirn, Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Bowling Green University

Peter Korda, Empire Today

Akhileshi Mishra, General Motors Global Innovation

Sam Payne, i.sell.company

Lee Schwebel, Schwebel Baking Company

Deanna Strauss, Lorain County Community College

Jim Trakas, Ohio Policy Associates

Terry Traster, ECDI

Te’Lario Watkins, Tiger Mushroom Farms


Contact Liz Nusken, Liz@oanohio.org for more information.