Startup Lakewood Announces 2015 Ideation Challenge Winners | The City of Lakewood, Ohio

Startup Lakewood Announces 2015 Ideation Challenge Winners

September 09, 2015

Just like each year, there were two winners announced for the Ideation Challenge on Aug. 25. But this year, both entrepreneurs were from Lakewood.

The winners of Startup Lakewood’s annual pitch competition are Jennifer McPaul, who took home one of the top spots with her mobile fashion store concept, High Pockets – A Boutique on Wheels; and Chris Orlando and his son, Mason, who earned the other spot for WonderVent, a trash removal accessory that enables a full trash bag to be removed easily from the can.

“We were thrilled to see all of the exciting applications and pitches for all types of businesses for this year’s Lakewood Ideation Challenge,” said Mike Belsito, the director of ideation for StartUp Lakewood. “We’re excited to see these entrepreneurs take the next steps with these ideas and turn them into real, viable businesses here in Lakewood.”

McPaul and Orlando won a few prizes for capturing the top spots, including Belsito’s book “Startup Seed Funding for the Rest of Us,” a seat at entrepreneurial event Industry 2015 (a $600 value); elevator-pitch coaching; and lunch with Mayor Michael Summers.

Other original ideas presented at the Ideation Challenge included Tool Shed, an online application that enables homeowners to rent out their own tools; Goods2Go, a grocery delivery service application for smartphones and computers; Teahouse Bakery, an upscale coffee shop concept, but with gourmet international tea offerings; and Tissue Me, a portable, washable fabric holder for pocket-size tissues that can be attached to strollers, purses, backpacks, a belt loop or simply one’s arm.

This year’s judge panel included Lakewood resident Jason Therrion, who is the president and CEO of the marketing agency Thunder::tech.

Megan Manning, of Little Lakewood Pasta Company and winner of last year’s Ideation Challenge, was also one of the judges. Since last year’s competition, Manning has enjoyed plenty of success, including her recent deal to supply national grocer Whole Foods.

“The timing of Megan’s success is a testament to and the affirmation of the positive work of Startup Lakewood and these intelligent entrepreneurs,” said Bryce Sylvester, city planner for the city of Lakewood.

Want to get involved? Startup Lakewood is offering “Office Hours,” a free event open to the public. There’s one spot left: 7:15 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22. For more information, email or visit