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Northern Kentucky Entrepreneur Student Wins Pitch Competition in Florida

The Northern Kentucky University (NKU) Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) chapter, which is housed under the Haile/US Bank College of Business Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, took a group of six students and two faculty/staff members to The University of Tampa (Tampa, FL) to partake in The South Eastern Entrepreneurship Conference (SEEC) on February 27-28. CEO is an organization that allows students to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit. CEO informs, supports, and inspires college students to be entrepreneurial and seek opportunity through enterprise creation.

SEEC provided the students with a variety of excellent opportunities. They gained knowledge from successful entrepreneurs and were able to learn how to further develop their ideas, businesses, and the tools/resources that will help them progress during their journey. The students were also able to network with other like-minded aspiring entrepreneurs at the conference.

The SEEC trip was sponsored by Covington-based businesses CONNETIC Ventures and TiER1 Performance Solutions. The generous donations made by these organizations is an investment in the development of the young, aspiring entrepreneurs in our region. Meena Maddali, COO of CONNETIC Ventures stated, “Entrepreneurship is the cornerstone of our economy. One of the reasons we started CONNETIC was to nurture entrepreneurs, their teams, and their ideas. So when we had the chance to sponsor CEO to go to SEEC, it was definitely a no-brainer: This is a group of talented students with a love for and ability to become entrepreneurs, and they’re right in our back yard. We are so proud of these students and all their achievements, and we can’t wait to see what they’ll become!"

This belief in the students immediately paid off. Jared Young, COO of Vegy Vida and an NKU Senior Entrepreneurship major, was able to participate in the Elevator Pitch competition and brought home first place. Jared used his entrepreneurial background to wow the judges with his clear and concise pitch, beating out 65 other students from across the country.

Conference participant and NKU MBA student, Malcolm Henderson, commented on his experience, “SEEC in Tampa, FL, was an experience that every future business professional should attend. I expanded my network while gaining a deeper understanding of the many aspects of entrepreneurship. This conference challenged part of my thinking, confirmed some of my knowledge, and taught me new concepts as well. The conference covered everything from, the ways you can protect your intellectual property to how to become comfortable in everyday business interactions. The knowledge I gained and the connections I established will benefit me in my business career for many years to come.”

- Staff report/Photo (L to R):  Kevin Moore, Brittany Schneider, Sam Pearson, Rebecca White, Jared Young, Giles Hertz, Rodney D'Souza, Malcolm Henderson, Zac Strobl, and Paul Kemp after the announcement of Jared Young finishing in first place in the Elevator Pitch Competition (provided)