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Two Minutes is Plenty of Time for Lakewood Entrepreneurs

Four finalists in Startup Lakewood’s Ideation Challenge meet at the University of Akron Lakewood campus to give an “elevator pitch” to a panel of judges on Tuesday.

What if you had two minutes to pitch an idea for a new business?

That was the scenario at the second-annual Ideation Challenge for four entrepreneurial hopefuls, tasked with giving an “elevator pitch” to a panel of judges on Tuesday night. 

The judges whittled down the list of 10 entrants to four Startup Lakewood finalists based on their business plans.

On Tuesday, the finalists gave two-minute presentations to the judges at the campus.

  • There was a presentation for HooftyMatch, a proposal for an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of locally produced meats.
  • Entrepreneurs representing Lakewood Rock Gym, pitched building the West Side’s “premier rock climbing facility.”
  • An idea for the company Lakework+, would provide a membership-based “co-working space” to supply the desired office amenities to entrepreneurs and new business owners.
  • Another finalist pitched a plan for the.create.space, a combination of co-working, “fab labs, hacker/maker spaces” into the definitive third space where members of the community can share, learn and work together. 

The entrepreneurs each had two minutes to impress the panel of judges, who also provided some valuable feedback.

The winner will get a number of start-up boosts, including a full scholarship to an entrepreneur training session. 

Bryce Sylvester, a planner for the , who moderated the event, said that the judges will announce their decision in the next couple weeks.

“This has been a really successful program,” he said.

The judges for Tuesday night’s event were:

  • Reka Barabas, the director of Bad Girl Ventures Cleveland
  • Mike Belisto, the co-founder of eFuneral
  • Heidi Finniff, branch manager at First Federal of Lakewood
  • John Kniffic, CEO of DecisionDesk
  • Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development

Belsito, who is also the “entrepreneur in residence” of the StartUp Lakewood initiative, said that the participants learn valuable information at the “Ideation Sessions,” which will now take place regularly at the UA Lakewood branch. 

“If you have an idea for a product or business in Lakewood this is the place to teach you the processes to make that happen,” he said. “The idea of Start Up Lakewood Ideation sessions is to keep moving forward with your idea — to keep taking those next steps.”  

Brett Zink August 29, 2012 at 05:20 PM
I'm already sold on the Rock Gym idea! A 45 min drive to Kendall Cliffs keeps me away from the sport.
M-F Schreiber August 29, 2012 at 07:35 PM
I'm sold, too. The Fridrich building on Madison Avenue would be a great place to erect a rock climbing wall after you gut the inside. It's available...
Bryce Sylvester December 04, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Hey Brett - We have a focus group next week for the rock gym. If you are free, come check it out! http://www.facebook.com/events/426468614075675/

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