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MSU business students gain career-ready experience  

Students in Morehead State’s Elmer R. Smith College of Business and Technology not only learn in the classroom; they also receive real-world business experience that will give them an edge as they build their careers. 

Recently, several MSU business students got to explore entrepreneurship firsthand at the 2022 Kentucky Pitch competition, with two students taking home top honors. Students who enter the competition pitch their business ideas to an audience of investors, community leaders and the public. Prize money and business support are given to those students whose business demonstrates innovation and the potential to create future jobs for Kentuckians.  

Dr. Janet Ratliff, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship, said she enjoys helping her students develop their ideas into potential new businesses. 

“I truly enjoy the excitement and passion my students exhibit when they work together to create and further develop businesses,” she said. “I have the unique opportunity each and every day to get to work with these amazing students and help them to be the very best they can.” 

Lauren Partin, a junior accounting major from Peebles, Ohio, won first place in the exploratory track with her business idea, H20 Leak Pro. The product attaches to the water line going into a building and shuts the water off when excessive use is detected, preventing potential water damage from leaks. Partin was awarded $5,000 to help expand her idea.   

“This was the best thing I could have done for my product. I am so glad that I took the chance of integrity in this competition,” Partin said. 

Senior small business management and entrepreneurship major Sydnee Shoupe from Greenup won a sponsorship to participate in Aviatra Accelerators in the developed track. The program, offered through Northern Kentucky University, will provide Shoupe with in-person and virtual programming to help her advance her business. Her idea, Thrifted Freckles, is an online thrift store that allows customers to shop safely from the comfort of their own homes. Shoupe said the competition gave her invaluable experience she’ll carry into her professional life. 

“This entire experience helped me to grow my knowledge in my business, while also networking with others,” she said. 

Partin and Shoupe received support and feedback on their pitch ideas and presentations from a team of their fellow students, who served as project consultants. They were: 
  • Elise Cahill, a senior accounting major from Lexington. 
  • Madison Dennis, a junior business management major from Morehead. 
  • M’Shae Mathews, a senior business management major from Morehead. 
  • Amelia Napier, a senior small business management and entrepreneurship major from Carrollton. 

For more information about the Smith College of Business and Technology programs, visit www.moreheadstate.edu/cbt, email cbt@moreheadstate.edu or call 606-783-2174.