- Ohio State University’s Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship has announced six undergraduate student startups that received $50,000 each through the second annual President’s Buckeye Accelerator.
- The President’s Buckeye Accelerator is designed to support student entrepreneurs to test their ideas in the marketplace while pursuing a degree.
- The winning ventures cover a wide range of industries, from textiles and streaming networks to healthcare and aerospace materials.
- The Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship provides a variety of services, capital, mentoring, and leadership opportunities for students, alumni, and faculty to realize their dreams of company creation.
Ohio State University’s Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship has announced six student startups that have each received $50,000 through the second annual President’s Buckeye Accelerator. The goal of the President’s Buckeye Accelerator is to support students who found startups to test their ideas in the marketplace while pursuing a degree.
Cheryl Turnbull, senior director of Ohio State’s Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship, said that the center, which administers the President’s Buckeye Accelerator, is a campus-wide hub for the development of startup ventures. It provides services, capital, mentoring, and leadership opportunities for students, alumni, and faculty to help them realize their dreams of company creation and bring their ideas to the market, where they can have an impact on the world.
The students who were selected for the President’s Buckeye Accelerator went through an application process and completed six Boost Camp sessions in mid-March. Throughout Boost Camp, successful entrepreneurs in a variety of industries spoke to the students and provided insights on how to launch and sustain a business.
On March 29, eleven Boost Camp participants were selected to pitch their entrepreneurial ventures at the President’s Buckeye Accelerator finale. A panel of six business professionals chose the six ventures that received funding. The panel included Deonna Barnett, managing consultant and CEO, Aventi Enterprises; Kristy Campbell, chief operating officer, Rev 1 Ventures; Josh Harrison, president, Improving-Ohio; Ryan Retcher, managing director, Loud Capital; and Adithya Ramaswami, co-founder of ParaWave, a drone company designed to assist first responders and one of the winning ventures in the first President’s Buckeye Accelerator cohort last year.
The six winning ventures in this year’s cohort cover a wide range of industries. Artisen Textiles, for instance, converts central Ohio artists’ paintings into throw pillows and other hotel room decorations. Insider Viz is an application designed to help stock market investors maximize their returns. ORAA (Operating Room Accessibility App) is an application designed to streamline hospital operations and increase patient safety and satisfaction.
PROSscored Virtual Arena is a streaming network that will broadcast lesser-known collegiate sports and give patrons the ability to customize their viewing experiences with behind-the-scenes content. SmileChild is a nonprofit organization that works to prevent infant mortality by providing educational materials to expectant parents. Starry Night aims to increase access to STEM education for underserved kindergarten through 12th-grade students by offering mobile planetarium presentations to schools.
Ohio State Students Hired
ORAA CEO Kalib Riddle said he and co-founders Thomas Hoffman and Rohan Suggala will use the President’s Buckeye Accelerator funding to hire Ohio State students to further develop the app and for marketing and legal expenses. “We want to streamline (hospital) communications and workflow to help more patients faster,” Riddle said. “We believe the presence of ORAA in the medical industry and around the world is critical to raising the bar for hospital efficiency and effectiveness on a global scale.”
PROSscored Virtual Arena co-founders Anne Gottwald and Amani Kimball-McKavish said they will use the funding to develop a curriculum to help their peers learn more about sports such as cheerleading that will be featured on the PROSscored network. They said they also plan to hire Ohio State students.
“We’re teaching students to have hands-on experience in sales and marketing and business planning and graphic design,” Gottwald said. “We also teach a course so we can grow this within the university to become a true enterprise.”
The other five ventures that were featured at the President’s Buckeye Accelerator finale were Aleph Innovations, a service designed to streamline the process of matching patients with physicians; Be W.I.S.E. Initiative, a nonprofit organization that promotes STEM education for girls at the preschool and elementary levels; MultiFusion, a manufacturer of aerospace materials to promote space exploration; Vision2Health, a service designed to increase efficiency in medical coding and improve patient diagnoses; and Vocalize, a language interpretation service for medical providers and patients.
Supporting Student Entrepreneurs
The President’s Buckeye Accelerator is a great initiative that supports student entrepreneurs to realize their dreams of company creation while pursuing a degree. It provides a platform for students to connect with successful entrepreneurs and learn from their experiences, receive funding, and get the resources they need to launch and sustain their businesses.
Ohio State University’s Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship plays a significant role in supporting student entrepreneurs, providing them with the necessary resources, capital, mentoring, and leadership opportunities. The center aims to meet the needs of Buckeye innovators and make their business ideas or services a reality in the market, where they can have an impact on the world.