Ryan Schoeneman of Colby Featherbottom’s Custom Sound Machines in Parma, Ohio took home the $20,000 first prize in the 2014 COSE Business Pitch Competition. Colby builds custom body shape electric guitars from their client’s own design using CNC robotics, instant cured finishes, and intuitive design software.

The final judging event in the competition was held at Kalahari Resorts and Convention Center in Sandusky, Ohio. More than 200 attendees watch the final judging event, which served as the official kick-off to the 2014 Small Business Convention.

COSE awarded a total of $40,000 in prize money to the final four participants. The competition was sponsored by FIT Technologies. Besides Colby Featherbottom’s Custom Sound Machines, the other winners included:

Second Place – $10,000
Shelley Fasulko – Brewnuts
Brewnuts combines craft beer and donuts in to one, and makes the food and beer lover’s ultimate guilty pleasure: craft-beer-based sales.

Third Place (tie) – $5,000
Eric Vennaro – Consult Mango
Consult Mango’s objective is to help colleges to recruit more international students through an advertising platform that helps them automatically post sponsored ads and create content on international social media.

Third Place (tie) – $5,000
Natalie Bauman – The Digital Mosaic, LLC
The Digital Mosiac is a unique storytelling app, designed to help people tell their stories one question at a time in an easy-to-use guided format, using webcams to capture the video in short bite-size clips.

More than 74 aspiring entrepreneurs submitted entries in the competition, consisting of a two-page executive summary and two-minute video pitching their ideas. A panel of experts reviewed the entries and the top 15 were invited to COSE’s offices on October 7 to make face-to-face pitch presentations to the judges. The final four contestants competed in tonight’s competition.

About COSE
COSE (Council of Smaller Enterprises) is committed to empowering small business success through a series of programs, services, events, and resources that support entrepreneurs, their businesses—and their employees. COSE helps small businesses achieve their idea of success in order to build richer, more vibrant communities that improve the economic climate and enhance quality of life. You can learn more about COSE at www.cose.org or contacting one of our small business concierges at 866-553-5427.