YSU Senior Wins Oh-Penn Business Competition

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Richard Wetzel of Poland, a senior at Youngstown State University, placed first and won the $2,000 grand prize at the Oh-Penn Business Plan Competition. And, his winning entry, which used selective laser sintering and 3-D scanning technology, has drawn interest from some potential investors, YSU reports.

Second place was awarded to two students from Allegheny College.

YSU students Ashley Roberts and Emily Corsale, both of Youngstown, placed third and won $500 each in the event at Grove City College, Grove City, Pa.

The contest was organized by eCenter@LindenPointe, a technology business incubator in Hermitage, Pa. Students from five universities  -- Allegheny College, Grove City College, Penn State Behrend, Ursinus College and YSU -- submitted more than 50 business plans. Nine finalists were selected to present theirs before judges April 20.

Wetzel, scheduled to graduate from YSU at the end of the  fall semester, is an international business major with a minor in entrepreneurship. He developed a business concept that uses selective laser sintering and 3-D scanning technology to produce custom covers for prosthetic legs. The invention for amputees is called “Pro Cover” and his company was named Wetzel Innovations. Wetzel will be meeting with interested investors from the Penn-Northwest Development Corp.

Wetzel, whose long-term plans are to use 3-D printing and additive manufacturing to help revitalize Youngstown, will work at a paid internship this summer with MakerBot in Brooklyn, N.Y. MakerBot is a manufacturer of desktop 3-D printers.

Donna Walsh, program director at the YSU Monus Entrepreneurship Center, said Wetzel has taken full advantage of the opportunities offered by YSU’s Williamson College of Business Administration. He has been a member of Enactus, the student entrepreneurship organization, the past two years and has made dean’s list the past five semesters, all while working part-time.

Wetzel traveled to Dublin, Ireland, in March 2013, with 15 other students for an international study experience through YSU. During the trip, students worked with Irish entrepreneurs at business incubators.

Ashley Roberts and Emily Corsale wrote a business plan that targets women and allows customers to subscribe to monthly customized boxes of feminine care products delivered to their homes. The concept, called My Dot Box, was first fostered during the fall 2012 semester in Roberts’ New Venture Creation class. Roberts also won an honorable mention in the Penn State 2012 Lion’s Den Elevator Pitch Competition that year.

YSU News Center

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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