Two students with a great idea for a pizza parlor captured the top prize at the University of Findlay’s inaugural Innovation Competition held Wednesday at Winebrenner Theological Seminary.
Delaney Hass and Haley Bok’s “Hot Spot Pizza Shop” concept not only placed first in the event’s small business division, but was deemed the overall winner out of 13 other ideas.
Hosted by UF’s College of Business, the competition challenged undergraduate students from all areas of study to develop a sustainable idea, create a business model and deliver a final presentation to judges. Cash prizes totaling $4,250 per division were awarded.
Judging the finalists were community leaders Ed Hartman, executive director of Millstream Angel Club; Sherri Garner-Brumbaugh, president/CEO and owner of Garner Transportation Group; Tony Iriti, Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development Director; Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik; and John Urbanski, president and CEO of United Way of Hancock County.
Hartman characterized the presentations as “great ideas grounded in a good foundation to grow.”
“I think it takes a lot of courage and confidence to present a brand new idea not knowing if people will find it palatable or not,” said UF President Katherine Fell, Ph.D.
Team placements in the three categories were as follows:
1st place – “Hot Spot Pizza Shop” by Delaney Haas and Haley Bok. Their plan involved individualized pizza service using spinning convection ovens that can bake 10-inch pies in about 90 seconds.
2nd – “The Beauty Bus” by Tyler Adkins and Christy Wickiser. Described as “a salon on wheels,” The Beauty Bus would provide cosmetic services, such as manicures and spray tans, at community events and be available for party rentals.
3rd – “Everlasting Video” by Jake Miller. Miller’s videography service would train people in how to use various video equipment, and provide videography and photography services.
4th – “The Woolen Wagon” by Megan Nedds. Nedds’ already-existing needle felting business works on commission by producing life-like felted animals. Her plan would allow for product expansion and class instruction.
1st – “Findlay Block Party” by Erin Mott. Mott proposed a campus event at which regional businesses could advertise their products and services so that UF students could become more knowledgeable about community offerings and resources.
2nd – “UFoods” by Lane Kleilein. He pitched the idea of an online grocery delivery service for students that would incorporate Sodexo “Bonus Bucks” and rely on a warehouse on a parcel of land near campus.
3rd – “Solar Sustenance” by Sean Stockmaster and John Davis. Solar-powered fresnel magnifying lenses can be used to distill and purify water, either via large-scale units to serve entire communities or portable devices for outdoor enthusiasts. The team’s idea was insipired by the fact that thousands of children around the world die each day, mostly due to lack of clean water for consumption and hygiene.
4th – “Resolve Health and Fitness” by Garrett Westerbeck. His business would provide resources, ranging from nutrition education to personal training, to help people most effectively achieve their fitness goals.
1st – “The Safe-let” by Dmitri Davidson, Laura Elser, Lexie Finnegan and Jordan Garcia. Their fingerprint activated digital bracelet would unlock doors, eliminating the need for people to dig for keys, particularly in dark, unsafe situations.
2nd – “OutdoorPort” by Jake Miller. Miller’s second idea consisted of developing an e-commerce site where hunting and fishing enthusiasts could buy and sell items.
3rd – “Horse Connect” by Laura Elser. Elser proposed that a database be created to match horse trainers with owners’ specific needs. The site would rate trainers based on their competency.
4th – “Diesel Matz” by Dimitri Davidson. Davidson created a thermostat-controlled mat that would keep diesel vehicles warm when parked over it. The mats can be connected to each other for fleet service.