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Northeast Ohio colleges are investing in student ideas through entrepreneurship programs


Many colleges in Northeast Ohio have entrepreneurship courses and partnerships geared towards students looking for pathways to turn their ideas into reality.

Today on the "Sound of Ideas," we'll highlight some of these programs and how they’re educating students with the necessary tools to become successful entrepreneurs. It's part of a new series we're calling, "Makers Monday."

The first two programs we'll begin with in are LaunchNET at Baldwin Wallace University and Sears Think[box] at Case Western Reserve University.

Later, we'll focus on an effort happening in Stark County to boost entrepreneurship for young people through a pitch competition with perhaps the best pun ever "Stark Tank" -- modeled on the popular business pitch show, Shark Tank on ABC.

Last year, 300 teams entered the competition for middle, high school and college students.

To end today's show, we'll spotlight another pitch competition that's coming up in February for entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in their communities.

The Cleveland Leadership Center is celebrating its 10th year of the Accelerate contest, where local entrepreneurs can win seed money for ideas aimed at improving Northeast Ohio.

This year’s competition will feature 26 ideas addressing issues like mental health, workforce development, housing and more.

- Rachel Smith, Fabrication Manager, Sears Think[box], Case Western Reserve University
- Caite Lenahan, Program Manager, LaunchNET, Baldwin Wallace University.
- B. Hrnja, Founder, Owner, Double Story Type
- Ken Brott, Co-founder, Stark Tank
- Isaiah Kaiser Ph.D., 2023 Stark Tank winner, Co-founder & CEO, Auxilium Health
- Brittany O’Connor, Vice President and Regional Public Affairs Manager, Citizens bank
- Anycia Grady, 2023 Accelerate winner, Founder, Seeking Supervision

Jay Shah is an associate producer for the “Sound of Ideas.”