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May 05, 2012

Lake Erie College ideaLab Awards $5,000 in Cash Prizes

(Painesville, Ohio) – Lake Erie College culminated its 4th annual IdeaLab competition March 21 with the top three finalists competing for cash prizes totaling $5,000. IdeaLab, sponsored by the College’s Center for Entrepreneurship, offers students the opportunity to develop a concept, refine it through workshops and lectures and present the idea to a panel of judges with the prospect of advancing to a regional competition.

Under the guidance of Cliff Somerville, director for the Center for Entrepreneurship, interested candidates were invited to a pre-ideaLab session to understand the contest, its components and the selection criteria. Following the introductory session, 13 students entered the competition, and eight semi-finalists were selected to compete. The semi-finalists attended entrepreneurial workshops and were mentored by Lake Erie College Entrepreneurs-in-Residence. During the workshops, the finalists had an opportunity to further define their ideas, solidify their concepts and develop their presentations.

Stephanie Morgan, a senior, took home top honors and $2,500 for her entry, "Daisy Mae’s Adventures,” a series of children’s books following the life of a puppy. The series is based on real-life events, and each story also shares a life lesson. "Daisy Mae’s Adventures” are educational and enjoyable for children; they teach morals and lessons, build relationships between the parent and the child, and are fun to read. In addition to standard printing, the books will be offered in Braille, audio format and eBooks. Morgan also plans to expand to a product line of merchandise including toys, games and apparel.

Senior Michelle Heinz placed second and earned a $1,500 prize with Work Horse Brewing Company, a one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience where Old World meets New World by brewing better beer while creating a smaller carbon footprint. Work Horse Brewing Company produces beer and wine using ingredients cultivated on the premise, from hops and grapes to cereal grains. The chief form of energy for harvesting these crops comes from a team of draft horses supplying authentic horse power.

Sophomore Stefan Stojanovic’s One World, One Country, is a business that promotes international studying and creates connections between educational institutions throughout the world. Stojanovic earned third place and a $1,000 prize.

As the first-place winner representing Lake Erie College, Morgan competed March 28th in the regional ideaLab competition held at Hiram College, along with students from the University of Akron, Ashland University, Baldwin-Wallace College, Hiram College, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, John Carroll University, Kent State University and the University of Mount Union.  

Established in 2007 by the Entrepreneur Education Consortium (EEC), the Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) is a collaborative effort reaching across the Learning Communities at Lake Erie College and throughout the Northeast Ohio business community. The Center helps students with their entrepreneurial ideas and helps them become involved with the other EEC schools.


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