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North Canton Hoover Students Reach the Semi-Finals for the Teen Tech Tank Business Pitch Competition

North Canton (October 19, 2015)

Three Hoover High School students have made the top twenty semi-finalists in Northeast Ohio's TeenTechTank.com business pitch competition. Five finalists will be chosen and winners will have the opportunity to pitch their business idea to ABC's Shark Tank’s Daymond John on November 7, 2015, at Enspire 2015, a youth entrepreneurship educators' conference located at University School in Hunting Valley, Ohio.

The students, who are a part of Hoover’s Business Management program led by teacher Mike Grady, entered a Young Entrepreneur Institute business pitch competition that required applicants to create a 60-second video pitching a new technology-related business idea. The twenty semi-finalists will be showcased on TeenTechTank.com from October 16 through October 28, 2015.  Five finalists will be determined by a combination of public voting and an expert panel of judges from the youth entrepreneurship ecosystem in Northeast Ohio.  The public may vote for one candidate per day beginning October 16 through October 28, 2015. 

“When I first found out about being in the top twenty I was just so excited and thrilled!” said Brianna Roemmele, a Hoover High School sophomore, whose qualifying idea was Fashion Time, a photo app that helps keep track of what outfits were worn when.

Hoover junior Elijah Hayhurst also qualified with his proposal of the programmable Auto-Mow, a lawnmower with GPS and computer graph-based technology, to remove the human from the lawn mowing process.

“As it sank in, I really began thinking about the opportunity making it to the top five could bring,” said Hayhurst. “It would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience to pitch my idea to Daymond John. He is someone I look up to.”

Hayhurst believes in his idea so much he pitched it to George Hohman, the president of Turfscape Inc., a northeastern Ohio landscape and snow removal management service. 

Hoover senior Mike Kritzell’s Eco Friendly Phone Case proposes to stop mobile phones from overheating in the sun. Kritzell is the third Hoover student to make the semi-finals.

“I'm honored that my idea was chosen and I think my product, if developed, would benefit a lot of people," Kritzell said.

The five finalists will be announced on November 1. They will receive a prize package including:

  • An opportunity to present to Daymond John of ABC’s Shark Tank at the Enspire 2015 Conference
  • Chromebook
  • $250.00 cash prize
  • A trophy
  • One year supply of Coca Cola sparkling beverages (two cases per month, your choice of beverage)
  • Ahuja Business Leadership Scholarship to Cleveland State University

Vote for Brianna Roemmele, Elijah Hayhurst, and Mike Kritzell at Teen Tech Tank’s website: http://www.teentechtank.com/.

The Auto-Mow by Elijah Hayhurst

This product is a lawn mower with a "brain".  It uses computer graph-based technology (GPS, electronic fence, feedback application, etc.) and is programmed and controlled through a phone app.  The software also uses public data available through internet with an interface via phone, tablet, and/or manual data entry.  This product is perfect for landowners, renters, commercial/residential property managers, farmers, and business owners.  Since the task of lawn mowing is automated, it frees up time, labor, preparation and maintenance costs, creating an increase in profitability for all users.  Brett Beading, Owner of Beading Landscaping says, “I would certainly welcome the Auto-Mow.  It would free up hands I need elsewhere as I work to meet customer expectations”. This is an undeveloped, untapped market with potential secondary markets. This is the ultimate yard machine.

Elijah Hayhurst pitched the "Auto-Mow" to George Hohman, of Turfscape Inc.

Elijah Hayhurst (pictured left with his father, Dave Hayhurst), pitched his "Auto-Mow" idea to George Hohman, president of Turfscape, Inc.

Elijah Hayhurst

Elijah Hayhurst

Fashion Time by Brianna Roemmele
This is an application that allows you to import pictures (selfies) of your daily and future outfits to place in a calendar, which you can refer back to so you don’t re-wear something too soon. You will also be able to use the app to auto generate outfits based off your style, weather, or an outfit specific to an event you are attending that day. Finally, you will also have the option to mark your favorite outfits for future reference. Lauren Bosworth, Vice President of Sales at Laura of Pembroke says, “This is a great app that can be used as a ‘fashion diary’. For people who like to pair their outfits ahead of time, this can be a great time saver!"

Brianna Roemmele

Brianna Roemmele

Eco Friendly Phone Case by Mike Kritzell
The Eco-Case is self-charging, self-cooling eco-friendly phone case. It charges itself with a 6 Volt solar panel located on the back of the case that charges the phone at a rate equal to a normal charger. It keeps itself cool by lining the case with aluminized fabric, commonly used in firefighting suits, which prevent heat from penetrating the case and overheating your phone. Other features include vents and color changing paint that add additional protection from heat.

Mike Kritzell

Mike Kritzell

Listen to the students' 10/23/15 WAKR Radio Interview with Jasen Sokol!

Mike Grady
Hoover High School


About Young Entrepreneur Institute at University School Teen Tech Tank and Enspire 2015 are programs of the Young Entrepreneur Institute. With activities ranging from classes to competitions, apprenticeships to guest speakers, Young Entrepreneur Institute reaches students in grades K – 12 and through a wide variety of institutions. In addition to a robust suite of activities for University School students, we support the broader youth entrepreneurship ecosystem with community-wide programs for kids and educators. For more information visit www.youngentrepreneurinstitute.org.

VIKING STRONG: North Canton City School District is a comprehensive PreK-12 public school district in Stark County. Located in the city of North Canton, NCCS serves over 4600 students and has a long-standing tradition of excellence in academics, arts and athletics.  Viking 21, the rededication of their work to teach and inspire their students in an exciting, engaging and active learning environment, is today's iteration of the best and most hopeful program for children's success.  At the core of Viking 21 are active teaching techniques and use of modern technology to its full advantage.