Beyond the Pitch

Four Amazing and Inspiring Students Win VentureNEXT Awards

The remarkable students—two from OSU and two who are still in high school—who were honored at VentureNEXT are people you will want to get to know.

Why? Because they are exactly the kind of folks we need to spark Central Ohio’s innovation economy.

Damian Beauchamp, who is working on his PhD in chemistry at OSU, has already co-founded his first company, KAir Battery. Damian raised more than $100,000 in non-dilutive capital from business plan competitions, and KAir Battery is the recipient of the Energy Department’s Clean Energy Prize. Read more>

As a college freshman at OSU, Rosemary Garry, now a sophomore majoring in business, started Stacker, a company based on her idea for a schedule sharing solution. She took second place in the OSU Business Plan Competition (as a freshman). Stacker is being developed as a Capstone project by students in engineering at OSU. Read more>

Mariah Cox, a junior at Zane Trace High School in Chillicothe, is researching ways to lower blood pressure and/or glucose levels in humans. Based on Mariah’s award-winning Red Raspberries vs. Gold Raspberries comparative study, further research has been approved and funded through the OSU food science lab, where she is now engaged as a researcher. In Mariah’s “spare” time, she has built houses, installed solar panels, and worked on a fish farm in Haiti.  She’s also a varsity soccer player. Read more>

Abigail Myers, a sophomore at Big Walnut High School in Sunbury, has been competing in science fairs since she was in the fifth grade. For the last four years, she’s been studying the science of retrieving lost oil from spills. Abigail presented scientific posters at the Ohio Academy of Science and was inducted as a Lifetime Fellow of the American Junior Academy of Science. As much as she loves science, one of Abigail’s favorite activities was playing one of the pink ladies in the school’s production of Grease. Read more>

So how do we keep Damian, Rosemary, Mariah, and Abigail—and the many others like them (you should see the stack of VentureNEXT nominations)—here in Ohio?

We mentor and nurture them. We tee up opportunities that stretch them beyond their experience, age, and experience. We put them on our short lists for internships, scholarships, and, eventually, investments and jobs.

There’s no better indication of a region’s potential for innovation than the hopes, dreams, and accomplishments of its young people.

Let’s make them a priority.

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