Junior wins first round of Marietta College’s PioBiz competition

Karson Snyder headshot

Marietta College’s Karson Snyder ’21 (Parkersburg, West Virginia) plans to revolutionize the way athletic recruiting services help high school students connect with colleges around the U.S.

Snyder unveiled his idea, “Hidden Talents,” during the first round of Marietta College’s PioBiz competition and he claimed the top spot on Thursday, October 17th.

Hidden Talents is a business he hopes to start after he graduates from Marietta.

“It is an athletic recruiting service that helps underprivileged and underexposed high school athletes,” he said. “ The problem with the other services in the industry is that they charge an overpriced fee and are more interested in personal profit, then having the athlete’s best interest in mind.”

During PioBiz, Snyder shared the concept to offer a $100-per-month, subscription-based model that the athlete can cancel anytime.

“This is completely different than the top competitors in the market because they charge a one-time fee of anywhere from $1,200 to $2,500,” Snyder said. “This is not affordable for the majority of families. Another aspect is that the athlete can cancel any time, if I help them find their dream school within two months it is unfair for them to continue paying 10-months-worth of a service that is unwanted or unneeded.”

For his efforts, Snyder also claimed the $140 top prize and he will have a chance to develop his concept more and make presentations at the next two PioBiz competitions.

“I plan to completely take over the recruiting process, which means creating highlight films, contacting college coaches via email, text, calls, helping athletes find worthy exposure camps to attend, and providing overall guidance and advice from a former collegiate athlete,” he said. 

A total of 22 ideas were presented in Round 1. PioBiz is a Business Start-Up Competition with a final award of $10,000. The competition is open to all Marietta College students and their partners. Throughout the 2019-20 academic year, students compete in three rounds of competition.

Round 1 of the PioBiz Competition simply consists of identifying a problem that is worth solving and describing the solution. The proposed solution must potentially lead to the establishment of a for-profit or non-profit business organization.

During the competition, each team displays a 3-foot-by-4-foot poster to describe the problem and its proposed solution. The team members had an opportunity to describe their products or services to the judges and the other members of the community and answered questions. 

Round out the Top 10 from Round 1 were:

  • DAWS (Deep Analytical Well Solutions) by William Bates ’20 (Quaker City, Ohio), Dustin Hale ’20 (Middle Point, Ohio), Seth Legraen ’20 (Whipple, Ohio) and Alex Petrovski ’20 (Stow, Ohio) — $130 award
  • Valentini Apparel by Abdulaziz Boyabis ’20 (Al Adan, Kuwait) and Luis Chao ’21 (Chicago, Illinois) — $120 award
  • MC WCA Campaign by Elijah Balek ’22 (Vermillion, Ohio), Rebekah Finn ’20 (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Ty'Reik Martin ’22 (Fort Pierce, Florida) and Peyton Shockley ’23 (Lancaster, Ohio) — $110 award
  • Pio-Platters by Dylan Kern ’22 (Washington, Pennsylvania), Michael Trent ’22 (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) and Bryan Washington Jr. ’22 (South Euclid, Ohio) — $100 award
  • Poppa- Cold-One by Steven George ’23 (Aberdeen, Maryland), Josh Kay ’23 (Ripley, West Virginia) and Cullen Zaferopolos ’23 (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) — $90 award
  • Water Harvesting by Joe Tucker ’21 (Grand Rapids, Michigan) — $80 award
  • Marietta College Athletic Inclusion Program by Jimmy Border ’23 (Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania), McKenzie Dorr ’20 (Nashport, Ohio), Willem Kern ’20 (Marietta, Ohio) and Jacob Montgomery ’21 (Westerville, Ohio) — $70 award
  • The Plywood Floor Company by Nathan Hanning ’21 (Nelsonville, Ohio) — $60 award
  • Home in the MOV by Shawnte Watson ’21 (Marietta, Ohio) — $50 award 

The judges and other members of the community jointly determined the winners in Round 1. Each judge assigned a score between 0 to 20 points to each project. Each member of the community was provided with 1,000 PioBiz dollars to invest on their favorite projects. Each 100 PioBiz dollar was equivalent to one point.