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PioBiz winner with the judges

Over the past nine months, Gavin Ott ’23 (Marietta, Ohio) has been sharpening his entrepreneurial skills as the founder and owner of 740 Pressure Washing.

On Thursday, April 20th, his solid business plan and hard work were rewarded as Ott won the final round of the 2023 PioBiz competition at Marietta College.

“Winning the competition validated my hard work and dedication to the proposal, and I was honored to be recognized among other talented individuals,” said Ott, who will earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management at the 2023 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 6th. “Winning the competition has given me a boost of confidence in my entrepreneurial abilities, and I believe that there’s a real demand for this type of service in the community. I’m looking forward to continuing to grow the business and providing exceptional service to my customers.”

740 Pressure Washing is a professional exterior cleaning service that offers a wide range of services, including pressure/power washing, surface cleaning, soft washing, gutter cleaning, roof cleaning, and heated pressure washing.

“Our primary goal is to grow the business over the next two to five years by adding another full rig and at least one to two employees,” Ott said. “Our competitive advantage lies in offering six different services with various techniques and packages, which allow us to cater to a broader range of clients. Additionally, we work with other established and successful companies to ensure that our equipment and supplies are top-notch.”

As part of his presentation, Ott detailed a marketing strategy that includes a website, social media marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing, print materials, public relations, word of mouth, and referrals.

“My proposal was comprehensive and outlined a service to meet the needs of homeowners and businesses in the local community,” Ott said. “The plan focused on the use of environmentally friendly products and innovative cleaning techniques to provide a high-quality service.”

Ott was also awarded $1,750 in prize money for finishing first in the competition.

“I chose to participate in the PioBiz competition because I saw it as an excellent opportunity to develop my entrepreneurial skills and get feedback from experienced professionals,” Ott said. “Additionally, I was excited about the prospect of networking with other business-minded individuals.”

Rylie Wahl ’19 (Columbus, Ohio), who will earn a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health at this year’s Commencement, received $1,250 for her second-place finish. Her proposal, Jovial Counseling, was the top choice in the second round of the PioBiz competition (three rounds are conducted each academic year). Wahl’s concept is a cash-pay private practice that she believes will allow therapists to provide more effective mental health treatments.

The competition judges were:

  • Michael Bond, Founder of Spoken, a Marietta-based app startup that develops technology to help people with speech disorders.
  • John Martin, Former CEO/Founder of Optimum Companies and Co-Founder of 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.