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Thomas More University to host Square1’s 2023 NEXT High School Final Pitch event March 23

Square1, which introduces entrepreneurship to hundreds of high school students in the region through the NEXT program, is set to hold the annual NEXT High School Final Pitch event, co-sponsored by U.S. Bank and Thomas More University, on March 23 at the University’s main campus.

The event provides opportunities to participating students for prizes, additional coaching, networking with local professionals as they share their experiences, startup support, and a chance to explore new pathways.

2020 NEXT Pitch Competition winners MatterhonrONE (Photo from TMU)

Three teams of stand-out students will be selected by a panel of judges for top honors in the competition and are offered scholarships to Thomas More University. The first-place team can take advantage of full-tuition scholarships, second place receives $25,000 in scholarships, and third place earns $22,000 in scholarships.

Last year’s first-place winning team, MatterhornONE, included students Alex Woods, Carson Floyd, and Colin Wilmhoff of Beechwood High School. The three students were offered full-tuition scholarships to Thomas More for their pitch which detailed an innovative, single-person tent design serving a social purpose.

Runners up in last year’s contest, team Fast Fashion, consisted of Holy Cross High School students Kennedie Welliver and Annalee Grout, who pitched a men’s quick pick-up accessory store. Team WaitIN took home third place in the competition for their pitch about solving staffing issues for small restaurants by providing plug-and-play ordering software. Team WaitIN inlcuded Theo Helton and Steven Weil from Covington Catholic High School.

The event also serves to honor community members for their role in innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. The 2023 NEXT event will honor Chad Scott, founder and managing director of Tindall Capital, a growth investment firm focusing on lower-middle market technology and early-stage software investments in targeted industries.

Thomas More University President Joseph L. Chillo, LP.D., was one of several honorees at the 2022 NEXT event, receiving the Entrepreneur Engagement Award in recognition of his commitment to providing the winning teams with life-changing scholarships to the University and for establishment of the Dr. Anthony and Geraldine Zembrodt Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Thomas More.

Square1’s NEXT program works with high school students to teach them how innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset can change their life’s trajectory. Schools and students from across Greater Cincinnati participate in this region-wide innovation and work skills education and development program.

Thomas More University

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