Dog competition

Three NKU Teams Earn Finalist Status at Annual Statewide KY Pitch Competition in Lexington

Three startups representing Northern Kentucky University completed a near-sweep of a recent statewide intercollegiate pitch competition. Each of the three startups entered the competition and collectively won $23,000 in prizes to continue developing and pursuing their business ideas.

Megan Burriss, on dogs

KY Pitch, an annual competition for college and post-secondary college students in Kentucky, was held in Lexington and three of the seven winning teams were from NKU. Finalists competed on two tracks: exploratory, for newly formed ideas; and developed, for already existing companies.

• On dogs, a company specializing in 100% waterproof collars and leashes founded by Megan Burriss, won first place in the developed track and a $15,000 prize. In his speech, Burriss passionately presented that On Dogs solves the problems of traditional dog collars, which soak up water, dirt and oil from your dog’s neck, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.

With his winnings, Burriss hopes to take On Dogs to new heights.

Kayla Braden and Caden Adams, Peachy and Vintage

“The next step in my entrepreneurial journey is to establish an online presence for my business through the establishment of a website and social media pages. The money awarded to On Dogs will help with this development as well as to digital advertising in the near future,” she said.

• Peach and Vintage, a multi-platform thrift store and vintage clothing store, placed second in the expanded track and was awarded $7,000. Peachy and Vintage, co-founded by students Caden Adams and Kayla Braden, is also the current tenant of Renaissance Covington’s Pike St. Pop Up, a quarterly rotating retail space for small businesses. With their lease expiring in June, Adams and Braden are actively looking for a permanent space to continue growing their business.

• Entrepreneurship went to Style House by Brittany, an event design service founded by Brittany Styles that cultivates lavish environments.

Breton styles, Maison de style by Brittany

“Receiving the Entrepreneurial Spirit has shown me that others see value in what I do, which means a lot to entrepreneurs. I learned more about myself, my business and how to better present it to others,” Styles said.

Each of the four NKU students who competed and placed attribute their success to their involvement with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Housed in NKU’s Haile College of Business, CIE empowers students to take control of their future through innovation and entrepreneurial pursuits. Many students embrace the concepts of the class and start their own businesses through its internationally ranked 12-week business accelerator, the INKUBATOR.

All three startups have been accepted into the INKUBATOR 2022 cohort and will spend the summer developing their concepts with mentorship, access to capital, connections, and flexible office spaces.

“This demonstrates the dedication of our faculty and the hard work of our students as they shape the future through their entrepreneurial pursuits,” said Dr. Hassan HassabElnaby, Dean of the Haile College of Business. “I couldn’t be more proud of how these students have represented our college as they continue to turn their dreams into reality.