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Riverview Credit Union Mid-Ohio Valley Entrepreneurship Expo at Marietta College



Program RECAP


April 7, 2022    4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.   Jr. PioBiz Competition  


 On Thursday, April 7, 2022, twenty students from Belpre High School, Fort Frye High School, Marietta High School, and Veritas Classical Academy presented their ideas in the Junior PioBiz Competition in the Great Room of Andrews Hall on the campus of Marietta College. 

On the day of the competition, a stand was provided to each team where they displayed a poster that contained information on the problem and the team’s proposed solution. The team members stood next to their posters, described their products or services to the judges and the other members of the community, and answered questions. The top five ideas received $50 to $250. Also, each member of the first-place team received a free Marietta College 3-credit hour course valued at $1,455.

event 1

Pictures above: Competitors interact with the audience


Pictured above: The competitors


Pictured above: Dr. Khorassani (Program Director) with  Brooklyn Harvey & Baleigh Holbert (Belpre High School, first place award for “Sick Ink”)


Pictured above: Dr. Khorassani with Dallas Bolen (Veritas Classical Academy, second place award                                    for “Ctrl X-plicit”)


Pictured above: Dr. Khorassani  with Mason Sampson and Cody Hess (Belpre High School, third place for “Linked”)


Pictured above: Dr. Khorassani with Makayla Carmichael and Allison Mullins (Belpre High School,                          fourth place for “Find Your Way Light”)


Pictured above: Dr. Khorassani with Webb Hall and Jack Tindall (Marietta High School, fifth place for “Curb Appeal”)


Pictured above: the winners with Judges (Michael Bond, Nathaniel Berger, Allison Barnes and Julie Harding)

March 31, 2022    4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.PioPitch  

On Thursday, March 3,2022,

 Creating Community:  Using social entrepreneurship to build skills & create jobs for vulnerable populations 

A special PioPitch session on the campus of Marietta College.  

In this session of PioPitch, Representatives Dr. Nicole Johnson from ReFrame Community, LLC and Tonya Davis and Jared Wittekind from BB2C Makerspace described their products and services. Seeking feedback on how to best engage their stakeholders, including their customers, clients, and communities.

Dr. Nicole Johnson from ReFrame Community, LLC

nicole johnson

Tonya Davis and Jared Wittekind from BB2C Makerspace

tonya and Jared

March 3, 2022    4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.PioBiz Competition: Round 1 

On Thursday, March 3,2022, eight business ideas were presented in Round 1 of the PioBiz Competition in the Gathering Place on the Marietta College campus.

The PioBiz Competition is supported in-part by the Riverview Credit Union Mid-Ohio Valley Entrepreneurship Expo. Round 1 of the PioBiz Competition consists of identifying a problem that is worth solving and describing a new product or service that solves the problem. The proposed solution must potentially lead to the establishment of a for-profit or non-profit organization.  This year’s competition was delivered in poster format. 

The key components of the posters were as follows.

  • Problem: A clear description of the problem
  • Customer Segment:  Who has this problem? Define the characteristics of your typical customer. 
  • Why is the problem worth solving?
  • Existing Alternatives:  How do your target customers currently solve the problem? Describe the nature of the competing products or services.  
  • Solution: A clear description of your product or service and how it solves the problem.
  • Unique Value Proposition: What is the advantage of your product or service over the alternatives? Why should people buy your product?

The winners of the competition were jointly determined by four judges and over forty-five members of the community.  Each judge assigned a score between 0 to 100 points to each project.  Each member of the community received 100 PioBiz dollars to invest in their favorite projects. The projects with the highest total points won the competition.

The competition judges were as follows:

  • John Bokat (MC Class of 2007): President, Compliance Services
  • Nikki Butler (MC Class of 1999) Artist and Founder, Nikki Butler Design
  • Alex Hogan (MC Class of 2018): Sales Manager, Malta Dynamics
  • Faith Knutson: Director, Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Ohio University Voinovich School

winners and judges

Winners and Judges


First Place winners Lilly Posti and Alexis Sommers for The Big Blue

2nd place

Second Place winners Caleb Craig, Colton Neptune and Dow Cameron  for CNC Services

3rd place

Third Place winner Hannah McKain for MyTherapist

catch a can

Fourth Place winners Noah Coleman, Bastion Gehrer, Haille Rogers, and Karsen Dye for Catch-A-Can

Culture to classroom

Fifth place winners Yutaro Ito and Isaiah Mitchell for Culture to Classroom


Sixth place winner Nathaniel Stellfox for Velcro Fit


Entrepreneurship Program Director, Dr. Jacqueline Khorassani announces the winners. Pictured above Eight place winners Lauren Giles and Alyssa for Car Pals.


2021-22 PioBiz Round 1 Winners:



January 27, 2022    4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.PioBiz Workshop 1 
On Thursday, January 27, 2022, Dr. Jacqueline Khorassani facilitated  PioBiz Workshop 1 to kick off a new season of the PioBiz Competition. In addition to sharing general information on the PioBiz Competition, this workshop also aimed to assist the participants in their search for worthy business ideas.

About the Presenter 

Dr. Jacqueline Khorassani is a Professor of Economics and Entrepreneurship and the Director of the Entrepreneurship Program at Marietta College. Khorassani’s teaching fields are Entrepreneurial Mindset, Macroeconomics, Money and Banking, International Economics, the Economics of Gender, and Applied Regression Analysis. Khorassani has lectured in China, Brazil, and Ireland. She has published and presented papers at national and international journals and conferences. Dr. Khorassani holds a BA in Public Relations and Social Affairs, an MS in Economics, and a Ph.D. in Economics.

jackie feb 2022


December 2, 2021    4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.In-Person Competition 

On Thursday, December 2, 2021, five Marietta College students pitched three business ideas in Round 3 of the PioBiz Competition: Business Plan.  PioBiz is a 3-Round Business Start-Up Competition open to all Marietta College students and their partners.  Round 3 of the PioBiz Competition consists of submitting and presenting a fully developed business plan. The competitors were given up to 20 minutes to present their business plans, followed by a 15-minute Q&A with four judges. Upon the conclusion of the last presentation each member of the audience voted electronically for their favorite business.

The key components of the presentations are listed below.

  • 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 The table below includes information on the award winners and their services. will happen if they don’t win the PioBiz award? What will they do if they win the award?                                                                                                                                     The judges were instructed to allocate up to (but not necessarily equal to) $10,000 among the top 3 business ideas. Awards exceeding $1000 will be distributed over time depending on the progress the winners make implementing their business plan. 

The competition judges were:

  1. Bret Allphin '01, Director of Community Development, Sixmo Architects + Engineers     
  2. Michael Fleak, Vice President Business Development, Williamstown Bank 
  3. Wendy Keenan Myers ’92 (Head Judge), Founder and Owner of Mitcham Group Apartments and Superior Rent-to-Own                  
  4. Mike Williams, President/Owner at iTech/Advance Alarm Tech

first placePictured Above: First Place Winner of $6.000. Allison Barnes '22 Major: Entrepreneurship for Art on the Move. Judges: Bret Allphin, Wendy Myers, Michael Fleak, and Mike Williams.

second placePictured Above: Second Place Winners of $3.000. Caleb Bradford '22, Major: Petroleum Engineering,  Jacob Parsil '22 Major: Petroleum Engineering & Orv Taylor '22 Major: Finance/Petroleum Engineering for BTP Environmental. Judges: Bret Allphin, Wendy Myers, Michael Fleak, and Mike Williams.

third placePictured Above: Third Place Winner of $6.000. Haylee Mott '23 Major: Entrepreneurship/Marketing for Mott's CrossFit. Judges: Bret Allphin, Wendy Myers, Michael Fleak, and Mike Williams.


September 23, 2021    12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. In-Person Conference

Thursday, September 23,  12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

In-Person Conference 

A glance at the conference (insert link to

12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Keynote Address: Dr. Heidi Neck: Entrepreneurial Energy: What it feels like to think and act entrepreneurially and all the things you can do with that! 

keynoteHeidi Neck, Ph.D., is a Babson College Professor and the Jeffry A. Timmons Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies. She is the Academic Director of the Babson Academy – a dedicated unit within Babson that inspires change in the way universities teach entrepreneurship and build entrepreneurship education ecosystems.

Neck is an award-winning educator and author. Her textbook Entrepreneurship: The Practice & Mindset (2017) was awarded the Breakthrough Book of 2017 by Sage Publishing and the 2018 Most Promising New Textbook Award by the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA) and is currently in its second edition (2020). Neck is the co-author of Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach, Volume 1 and 2 (Elgar Publishing) – books written to help educators teach entrepreneurship in more experiential and engaging ways. Her most recent book, The IDEATE Method (Sage 2020), helps nascent entrepreneurs identify high-potential business ideas. She has been recognized by international organizations, the Academy of Management and USASBE, for excellence in pedagogy and course design. For pushing the frontiers of entrepreneurship education in higher education, The Schulze Foundation and the Entrepreneur and Innovation Exchange awarded her “Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year” 2016

2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Five Tracks, Each Consisting of Three Sessions

Track 1: Growth and Expansion:

  • Session 1:  Fun with Exports: Expanding Sales Potential in Foreign Markets with Don Hackney, Ohio University Small Business Development Center
  • Session 2:  Making an Effective Website with Derek Armstrong and Shannara Stetson, Paradynamix (insert link to
  • Session 3 Maintaining and Improving Your Website with Derek Armstrong and Shannara Stetson, Paradynamix

t1 s1Pictured Above: Attendees learned how to make an Effective Website in Track 1-Session 1

Track 2: Management and Strategy,

  • Session 1: Pricing Essentials for Small Business with Danielle Cisler, Amanda Davis, and Eric White, INSIGHT2PROFIT
  • Session 2: Best Hiring Practices with Dr. John Fazio, Marietta College
  • Session 3: How to Find Your Business Superpower and Use it for Good with Andrea Shirey, One Nine Design

t2 s1Picture above: Eric White & Danielle Cisler discuss Pricing Essentials for Small Business in Track 2-Session 1

Track 3: Stand Out & Speak Up

  • Session 1: Be the Influential leader that stands out with Pantea Vahidi, RN, The Vahidi Institute
  • Session 2: Ready, Set, Speak! Energizing your business through public speaking with Dr. Linda Lockhart and Dr. Cody Clemens, Marietta College
  • Session 3: A Conversation with the Finalists of the 2021 ENTR of the Year Award with Sarah Arnold, founder of Clutch MOV

entr 2021Picture above: Sarah Arnold introduced the Finalists of the 2021 ENTR of the Year Award in Track 3- Session 3

Track 4: Social Entrepreneurship & Nonprofits

  • Session 1: Canvas: A One-Page Tool to Strategically Plan or Re-Plan Your Nonprofit Enterprise with Faith Knutsen, Ohio University and Tres Ross, The Ross Foundation
  • Session 2: Measuring SROI: Get More Grants by Showing Funders What They Want to See! With Allison Ricket, SROI Consultant
  • Session 3: Nonprofits Can Make Profits: Doing Good and Making Money with  Ken Oehlers, Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio, Brandon Gress, Wood County SocietyMichelle Barber, Community Resources, Dr. Paul Patton, Social Enterprise Director for Rural Action.

t4 s2Picture above: Allison Ricket explains how to get more grants by showing funders what they want to see in Track 4-Session 2

 Track 5: Law & Order

  • Session 1: COVID-19 Vaccine and Other Post-Pandemic Employment Law Issues with Elizabeth C. Stock, Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Session 2: Understanding and Mitigating Cyber Threats to Small Business with Jeff Knight, Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Session 3: Board or Bored: Living Up to Your Legal Obligations with Beth Short, Ohio Attorney General's Office

t5 s1Picture above: Elizabeth Stock discusses the law issues concerning the COVID-19 Vaccine in Track 5, Session 1

5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Business After Hours & Networking

In collaboration with Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley, and Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce.

Participants reflect (insert a link to


BAH 2021Above, attendees enjoyed networking and refreshments during the Business After Hours.

entr 2021 Pictures above: During the Business After Hours, Sarah Arnold of CLUTCH MOV presented the 2021 Award for Entrepreneur of the Year to Zak Huffman of The Cocktail Bar. The finalists included; Dean Ponchak - Old Bridge Brewing Co., Sebastian Cruells -740 Social, Zak Huffman - The Cocktail Bar, Eric and Kayla Gibson - Sugar Butte Farms, and Madeson Witkosky-Barr -Scots Marketplace



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