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Round 3: Business Plan

April 20, 2023
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
113 Thomas Hall

Round 3 of the PioBiz Competition consisted of submitting and presenting a fully developed business plan. 

The competitors were given up to 15 minutes to present their business plans, followed by a 15-minute Q&A with four judges. Upon the conclusion of the last Q&A, the judges met privately to allocate a total of $3000 between the two business plans.

The key components of the presentations 

  • A clear description of the problem that the proposed product or service will solve and the reason this problem is worth solving. Who is this product or service for?
  • What qualifies the applicant to produce the proposed product or service? What are the resources/expertise that the applicant already has, and what are the resources that the applicant needs?
  • The nature of similar products or services that are currently available on the market, and the reasons the applicant’s proposed product or service is better.
  • How do the applicants know that their business idea is feasible?
  • How did the applicants arrive at their financial plan? Specifically, where did the cost and revenue numbers come from? When do they expect to make a profit or cover their total cost? 
  • A description of their next steps: What will happen if they don’t win the PioBiz award? What will they do if they win the award?

The competition judges

  • Michael Bond, Founder of Spoken, a Marietta-based app startup that develops technology to help people with speech disorders.
  • John Martin, Former CEO/Founder Optimum Companies Co-Founder Vines on Hillside
  • Tres Ross, Executive Director of The Ross Foundation, a family foundation located in Parkersburg, West Virginia, serving Wood, Ritchie, Doddridge, Pleasants, and Jackson counties
  • Mike Workman, Founder of Contraxx Furniture, co-founder of the Morgan Community Fund, and past director of the Morgan Community Improvement Corp.


Gavin Ott, First Place winner of PioBiz stands with judges

Pictured above: Judges Tres Ross and Michael Bond, First Place Winner Gavin Ott '23, and judges John Martin and Mike Workman.

Gavin Ott, a Management Major, presented his winning business plan on 740 Pressure Washing and won $1,750.00.

2nd place

Pictured above: Judges Tres Ross, John Martin and Michael Bond, Second Place Winner Rylie Wahl '23, and judge Mike Workman.

Rylie Wahl, graduate student majoring in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, presented her business plan on Jovial Counseling and won $1,250.00


Round 2: Proof of Concept

November 29, 2022
3:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
124 Thomas Hall

In this round of the PioBiz Competition, nine business ideas were pitched. The key components of the 7-minute pitch presentation were as follows.

  1. Problem: A clear description of the problem
  2. Customer Segment:  Who has this problem? Define the characteristics of your typical customer.
  3. Solution: A clear description of your product or service.
  4. Proof of Need:  Share the results of your secondary research on the overall demand in the market, and the potential demand for your product. Report the results of your primary need finding (surveys and interviews) research.
  5. Existing Alternatives:  How do your target customers currently solve the problem? Describe the nature, availability, and price of the competing products or services.  
  6. Unique Value Proposition: What is the advantage of your product or service over the alternatives? Why should people buy your product?
  7. Prototype/Experiments: Display a prototype, and/or describe the results of your experiments and hypotheses testing.
  8. Existing & Needed Resources: What are the major resources that you already have, and what are the major resources that you need to start producing your product or service?
  9. Cost Structure: Describe the major sources of your fixed and variable costs.
  10. Revenue Stream: Describe how you are planning to generate revenue.
  11. Road Map/Next Steps: Provide a timeline on what you are planning to do next.

Upon the completion of their presentations, the competitors were provided up to 5 minutes to engage in a Q&A session with the following five judges:

  1. Dr. Bonnie Martinez, Assistant Professor, Chemistry, Marietta College
  2. Rocky Peck ’88, Auctioneer
  3. Lori Smith, Assistant Professor, Communication, Marietta College
  4. Mike Williams, President/Owner, iTech/Advance Alarm Tech
  5. Mike Workman, Founder, CONTRAXX Furniture
PioBiz Participants and Judges
PioBiz Participants and Judges

The judges and the audience jointly determined the top five winners of the competition. Each member of the audience had one vote, equivalent to 1 point. The judges were instructed to assign between 0 to 10 points in each of the following seven categories, a total of 70 points per project:

  1. The worthiness of the problem/proof of need
  2. Quality of solution (product/service)
  3. Results of prototyping or experiments
  4. Unique advantage
  5. Degree of feasibility/likelihood of success
  6. Quality of presentation
  7. Quality of answers during Q&A

Projects with the highest total points won the competition. The table below includes more information on the winning projects:

Product/ ServiceTeam MembersAwardAmount
Jovial CounselingRylie Wahl ’19, graduate student majoring in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Class of 2023First Place$450
ControllerView Studios, LLCEric Debolt ’23, majoring in Environmental EngineeringSecond Place$400
GTS Auto DetailingGabriel Torres ’24, majoring in EntrepreneurshipThird Place$350
740 Pressure WashingGavin Ott ’23, majoring in ManagementFourth Place$300
The Big BlueAlexis Sommers ’25, majoring in Entrepreneurship     
Lilly Posti ’25, majoring in Communication Studies
Fifth Place$250
PioBiz Winners
PioBiz Winners