Junior Austin McCleary goes 2-for-2 in PioBiz competitions

Austin McCleary headshot

Austin McCleary ’22 (Marietta, Ohio) has won back-to-back rounds of Marietta College’s PioBiz competition with “The Car Library” concept.

McCleary, who is majoring in Actuarial Science, won $400 for having the top idea in the entrepreneur competition. In March, he also finished first with the same idea and received $190.

In the second round, McCleary and the other competitors pitched six ideas during the round that is called Proof of Concept. PioBiz is a three-round business start-up competition with a final award of up to $10,000. The competition is open to all Marietta College students and their partners.

During the second round, competitors must test the validity, practicality, or marketability of the proposed solution (product or service) by building a prototype, gauging potential customers’ and other stakeholders’ interest via primary or secondary research, and listing the sources of cost and revenue.

McCleary’s nonprofit concept is designed to temporarily provide cars to individuals in financial need so they can travel to and from work to help them save money to buy their own car.

Finishing second and receiving $350 was Sydney Stek ’23 (Canal Winchester, Ohio) and Lily Krajewski ’23 (Raleigh, North Carolina) with Muddy Hands Clay Studio, a creative safe haven for community members to create original art with fresh clay as well as premade bisque ware. Both students are majoring in Psychology.

Devin McFarland ’23 (St. Clairsville, Ohio) finished in third place and received $300 for his idea, Shower Sleeve.

Allison Barnes ’24 (Lancaster, Ohio), who is majoring in Entrepreneurship, finished fourth and received $250 for her concept, Art on the Move. Barnes is proposing a service that brings art classes to the learners, and the company would have a simple mission: to help people Enjoy Art.

Rounding out the top five was Amadeus Perry ’24 (Williamstown, West Virginia), who is majoring in International Business, with Putnam’s Place. Perry received $200.

Each judge assigned a score between zero to 40 points to each project. Also, each webinar participant had one vote (one point). The top five ideas were determined by adding up the judges’ points to the webinar participants’ points.

The judges were Milt Haynes ’97, Commercial Credit Officer at Riverview Credit Union and entrepreneur; Julie Jeffries ’93, Founder of Not Your Momma’s Vegetables; Faith Knutsen, Director of Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Ohio University’s Voinovich School; and Tres Ross ’97, Executive Director at The Ross Foundation.