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Cedarville University Students Hit Home Run at "The Pitch"

CEDARVILLE, Ohio, Jan. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A digital assistant platform that prioritizes user privacy was the first-place winner at Cedarville University's "Second Pitch" event, hosted by the university's Beyond Startup Accelerator program.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu. (PRNewsfoto/Cedarville University)

"The Second Pitch" allows eight Cedarville University students to pitch entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of judges, much like on ABCs "Shark Tank. Panelists included Joe Mulvaney, founder of Quotus, a qualitative research firm, Johnny Campbell, business developer for Columbus-based Bend Active and certified agent for Major League Baseball; and Kristi Kennedy, co-founder/CEO of the Bee Friendly Network.

Four candidates won cash prizes and a chance to turn their ideas into an investment-ready operating business.

First-place winner Colson Cissel, (computer science) from Woodbine, Maryland, pitched a privacy-focused digital assistant platform called Onyx. Because current smart speakers do not respect user privacy and most users have privacy concerns about smart speakers, Onyx will protect users' privacy. Consumers can download the Onyx Digital Assistant to their devices and hardware manufacturers could purchase licensing to voice-enable their own products with Onyx.

Prize Winners
Senior David Sinkonis, (finance and marketing) from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and senior Luke Marquardt, (computer science) from Garden Plain, Kansas, created Takeyaup, a non-monetary wagering app that allows users to create custom non-monetary bets.

Sophomore Cameron Roseman, (marketing) from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and sophomore Rufus Mathew, (computer science) from Bahrain, created Suitis, a marketing app that integrates micro influencers through artificial intelligence. The online platform organizes influencers based on location and personal interests for product or event promotion.

Freshman Caleb Stanton, (worship) from Ypsilanti, Michigan, pitched ChairBox, a foldable, compact storage device designed for storing wheelchairs in vehicles. Stanton's sister, who uses a wheelchair, was the motivation behind the concept.

"The Pitch" is part of the new Beyond Startup Accelerator , a program that allows future entrepreneurs to learn skills and, hopefully, launch independent startup companies or lead a startup function in existing companies by creating new products.

"The top four winning presenters are on a path to investable, scalable ventures, and we couldn't be more proud of their boldness, creativity and passion to lead us forward," said Dick Blanc, executive director of the  Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program .

Cedarville University is an accredited, Baptist university with 4,380 students in southwest Ohio. Visit cedarville.edu for more information about the University.


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SOURCE Cedarville University