Junior artist wins ‘Proof of Concept’ round of PioBiz

Two women - one facing and the other with her back - showing off artwork on jean jacket

Leah Seaman ’21 (Philippi, West Virginia), who is majoring in Communication and Studio Art at Marietta College, is learning she may be a budding entrepreneur.

Seaman, who won the “Proof of Concept” round of the PioBiz competition, is looking at how she might start her own business of hand-painted, customizable clothing — jean jackets, jean pants, shoes and graduation caps.

“Customers send me their designs, and I also do my own designs, and I bring that vision to life on their clothes — mainly jackets — to be worn for years to come,” she said. “I want to create wearable works of art.”

She won $230 for the “Artsy Apparel” concept.

“Winning the second round of PioBiz was a huge confidence boost for me as an artist,” Seaman said. “It showed me that, although I have an artistic mind, I have also started to find proof that I may be a successful entrepreneur as well. I am so excited and eager to learn more from the PioBiz mentors and really build up my business concept.”

PioBiz is a Business Start-Up Competition with a final award of up to $10,000. The competition, which has three rounds, is open to all Marietta College students and their partners. 

In Round 2, students could use up to five slides and take up to five minutes to prove that their business ideas were feasible. Following their presentation, each team was given five minutes to respond to questions posed by a panel of four judges — Michael Bond, Founder of Spoken; Wendy Myers, Founder and Owner of Mitcham Group Apartments and Superior Rent-to-Own; Chris Pfeiffer, Founder and President of Sourdough LLC; and Tres Ross, Executive Director of The Ross Foundation.

There was a tie for second place between “Deep Analytical Well Services (DAWS)” and “Rolling Scotty Photo Services.” Each team won $200. The DAWS team includes William Bates ’20 (Quaker City, Ohio), Dustin Hale ’20 (Middle Point, Ohio), Seth Legraen ’20 (Whipple, Ohio) and Alex Petrovski ’20 (Stow, Ohio). Chloe Burianek ’23 (Georgetown, Pennsylvania) is the lone member of the Rolling Scotty team.

Finishing fourth and earning $170 of prize money was Karson Snyder ’21 (Parkersburg, West Virginia) with “Hidden Talents; and finishing fifth with a $150 prize was Nathan Hanning ’21 (Nelsonville, Ohio) with “Plywood Floor Company.”

The third and final round of PioBiz is a chance for the teams to present a business plan and the $10,000 of prize money will be divvied up between the top three plans. It is scheduled for 4:00-6:00 p.m., Thursday, April 16th, in the Timothy O. Cooper Auditorium (Thomas 124).