NKU entrepreneurs take center stage at third annual INKUBATOR final presentation day

For immediate release…
Wednesday – Sept. 10, 2014

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. –
The third annual Northern Kentucky University INKUBATOR (http://inkubator.nku.edu) Final Presentation Day took place last month in the Griffin Hall George and Ellen Rieveschl Digitorium.

The day featured six companies – TrepStyleMktg, Gamemaster.me, Identif-Eye, LighthousePage, Fateful Games, and Vegy Vida. Each company presented where it started when it began the INKUBATOR, the work conducted throughout the summer, how it developed a business models, and where it is now as the program comes to an end. The audience consisted of NKU faculty and staff, stakeholders, and various business professionals in the community.

“The INKUBATOR is an outstanding program, and one we are quite proud of,” said NKU President Geoffrey Mearns, “Programs like the INKUBATOR help to fuel the entrepreneurial flame within students from across our campus by giving them the skills and resources they need to succeed beyond the classroom.”

The NKU INKUBATOR program gives students the opportunity to pursue their ideas and turn them into a reality. Even though these companies are in the early startup stage, several have already seen some success. LighthousePage was created by Donna Snyder and Kim Ziegler. The interactive website is designed for care givers of children with disabilities, providing real-time communication between home and school. The site has three schools committed to piloting the system once developed.

“We went from idea to pilot only because of all the things we learned at the INKUBATOR,” said Snyder, who is working on her doctorate in education.

Brothers Josh and Jared Young were able to take the concept of Vegy Vida and fully utilize the resources of the INKUBATOR to gain traction. Vegy Vida developed a sprayable sauce that contains a bitter blocking formula to block the negative tastes of vegetables. It also adds flavors of foods such as pizza, macaroni and cheese, and bacon.

"The INKUBATOR challenged us to validate our business idea, business model, and target consumers,” said Josh, who is CEO of the company. “Through this work we have improved our business dramatically. I am very proud to say that Vegy Vida is now a trademarked name and our unique formula is patent pending and FDA approved. I am 100 percent confident we will be more successful because of the INKUBATOR!”

Rodney D’Souza is director of the Haile/US Bank College of Business Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He said this year the INKUBATOR program received applications from majors and minors within every NKU college. “This proves that entrepreneurship at NKU is truly a cross-campus initiative,” D’Souza said. “The INKUBATOR is there to support and guide any student with the passion and motivation to pursue their own ideas, and provide them with everything they need to begin their successful journey with their startup businesses.”

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