Freshmen at Marietta College claim first round of PioBiz with ‘thrift store’ idea | News, Sports, Jobs


Left to right, Lilly Posti and Alexis Summers, first-round winners of the Marietta College PioBiz contest. (Photo provided)

MARIETTA — A month after winning first place in the first round of Marietta College’s PioBiz contest, Lilly Posti of Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, and Alexis Sommers of Nelsonville turned their idea into reality.

Posti and Sommers, freshmen in the class of 2025, received the $190 prize for first place with their on-campus thrift store idea, “The big Blue.”

On April 6, the duo held a savings event in the Great Hall of Andrews Hall.

“Lilly and I really love fashion and sustainability,” said Sommers, who specializes in entrepreneurship. “We had the idea of ​​creating a thrift store on campus that would allow students to buy, at very low prices, clothes or items they might need.

Posti, a communications student, said Big Blue supports and welcomes students.

“If they really need something, we want to provide it to them for free or for free,” Posty said.

More time and resources are needed before their idea becomes fully operational, but first-year students are excited and encouraged.

“Being ranked at the top of the judge’s list and the public votes led to our success,” Posty said.

While the four judges, John Bokat, Class of 2007, President of Compliance Services, Nikki Butler, Class of 1999, Artist and Founder of Nikki Butler Design, Alex Hogan, Class of 2018, Sales Manager at Malta Dynamics, and Faith Knutson, Director of Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Ohio University, may not have put the eventual winners first, the public supported Posti and Sommers with their “PioBiz Dollars.”

“A lot of people started talking about our idea on Yik Yak, and they were telling people to donate at our savings event,” Sommer said. “Other students have contacted us asking for our digital posters so they can share them with friends. We even had a guy from PioBiz who told us he wanted to help us get started.

Posti and Sommers plan to participate in the next two rounds of PioBiz. The $10,000 grand prize would be key to getting the business started on campus sooner than expected, they said.

“However, if we found the resources over the summer, we could launch it in the fall,” Sommer said.

Eight groups showed up in the first round of the contest on March 3. The PioBiz competition is supported by the Riverview Credit Union Mid-Ohio Valley Entrepreneurship Expo.

The first round of the PioBiz contest involves identifying a problem worth solving and describing a new product or service that solves the problem. The proposed solution must potentially lead to the creation of a for-profit or non-profit organization.

The other seven projects placed as follows:

* Second Place ($180): CNC Services (Oil & Gas Well Service): Caleb Craig, Class of 2022, Zanesville; Colton Neptune, Class of 2022, New Concord, Ohio; and Dow Cameron.

* Third Place ($170): MyTherapist (Group Therapy for College Students): Hannah McKain, Class of 2023, Marietta.

* Fourth place ($160): Catch-A-Can (recycling sorting robot): Noah Coleman, Class of 2022, Dayton; Karsen Dye, Class of 2024, Marietta; Bastian Gehrer, Class of 2024, Natters, Austria; and Haille Rogers, class of 2025, Apollo Beach, Florida.

* Fifth place ($150): Culture to Classroom (International students offering cultural activities to local schools): Yutaro Ito, Class of 2025, Osaka, Japan; and Isaiah Mitchell, Class of 2025, Marietta.

* Sixth place ($140): Velcro Fit (prevent fitted sheets from coming undone): Nathaniel Stellfox, Class of 2025, Dexter City, Ohio.

* Seventh place ($130): Exercise with USA (group exercise program): Drew Ultican, Class of 2025, Baltimore.

* Eighth place ($120): Car Pals (drivers and matching passengers): Lauren Giles, Class of 2023, Follansbee, W.Va., and Alyssa Sims, Class of 2022, Stone Creek, Ohio.




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Laura J. Boyer