Miach Medical Innovations, a medical device company led by Case Western Reserve University student Cullen Dolan, took first place—and a $1,500 prize—in the JumpStart Inc. Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo’s inaugural student business competition. The company is developing a device that uses pressure-sensing technology on endotracheal and feeding tubes to assist caregivers in ensuring proper placement of the tube, monitor unplanned movement of the tubes, and alert when it is safe to remove the tubes.
“Using the award money, our main focus is developing the sensor to meet our technical specifications and user needs, while still being cost effective,” Dolan said.
Amplified Wind Solutions, a Cleveland State University company, and Snapcessories, a company from Kent State University, earned second and third place, respectively.
Awards were announced in front of a live crowd, including 117 other Cleveland-based companies, at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center Nov. 20, during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
“To me, it’s just astounding to see the momentum around entrepreneurship growing and growing,” said Burton D. Morgan Foundation President and CEO Deborah Hoover, while introducing the finalists. “Nowhere is this more evident than in the collegiate entrepreneur space.”
To enter the contest, students were required to submit a video elevator pitch and a written business plan. A panel of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-in-residence reviewed and ranked entrants on the criteria of completeness of their business plan, their product idea and the problem it would solve, the quality of their plan and the clarity and conciseness of their pitch. The scores they received against these criteria were totaled, and the top three put their video pitch online, where the community was encouraged to pick their favorite business idea from their online pitches. Watch their pitches or view the video of the awards ceremony at www.neoexpo.org/student-contest.
“The quality of the finalists speaks volumes about the talent found at the region’s universities,” noted Jerry Frantz, managing venture partner of JumpStart Inc. “Northeast Ohio is growing as an entrepreneurial force in part because its educational institutions recognize that entrepreneurship is an area deserving of support and resources.”
Dominion, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Meaden & Moore, Oswald, Ohio Third Frontier, the Ohio Venture Capital Association, the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association and Vantage Financial Services provided the prize money for the three groups.