Full-tuition scholarships awarded by Thomas More University at the Square1 annual NEXT event


CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. (May 3, 2022) — On Thursday, April 28, 2022, Square1 held its annual NEXT High School Final Pitch Event, providing opportunities for additional coaching, prizes, and startup support to participating students. Three teams of stand-out students were selected by a panel of judges for top honors in the competition and as a result receive scholarships to Thomas More University, including first-place, full-tuition scholarships, second-place $25,000 scholarships, and third-place $22,000 scholarships.

Earning first place was team MatterhornONE, including students Alex Woods, Carson Floyd, and Colin Wilmhoff of Beechwood High School. All receive full-tuition scholarships to Thomas More University with their pitch that detailed an innovative, single person tent design serving a social purpose. Runners up in the pitch contest, team Fast Fashion, consisting of Holy Cross High School students Kennedie Welliver and Annalee Grout, pitched a men’s quick pick-up accessory store. Team WaitIN took home third place in the competition for their pitch about solving staffing issues for small restaurants by providing plug and play ordering software. Team WaitIN is made up of Theo Helton and Steven Weil from Covington Catholic High School.

Thomas More University President Joseph L. Chillo, LP.D., was one of several honorees at the event, receiving the Entrepreneur Engagement Award in recognition of his commitment to providing life changing scholarships to Thomas More University for the Square1 Next high school student finalists, as well as establishing the Dr. Anthony ’65 & Geraldine ’66 Zembrodt Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Thomas More, which will be housed in the newest academic center that is slated to begin construction this summer on the Crestview Hills campus. “It was an honor to receive this recognition from Square1, who we have partnered with to make a difference in the lives of these young innovators,” says President Chillo. “Our newly established Dr. Anthony ’65 & Geraldine ’66 Zembrodt Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, as well as our new academic center, provides the ideal environment for these students to thrive with the support and guidance of the first-class faculty that we have here at Thomas More University.”

Other awards bestowed that evening include the Board Service Award to honoree Vincent Williams of Orchestrate Technologies and former board chair; the Impact Award to honoree Means Cameron, owner/Operator of the clothing brand Black Owned; the Collaborator Award to honoree Valerie Hardcastle, executive director of St. Elizabeth Healthcare Institute of Health Innovation and vice president for Health Innovation at Northern Kentucky University: the Entrepreneur Support Award to honoree Pat Longo, HCDC president; the Entrepreneur Leadership Award to honoree Tim McGee, former Bengal and entrepreneur; and the Community Innovator Award to honorees Oakley and Eva Farris, who are local philanthropists and longtime supporters of Thomas More University.

Square1’s NEXT program works with high school students by teaching them how innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset can change their life’s trajectory. Schools and students from across Greater Cincinnati participate in this region-wide innovation and work skills education and development program.

For more information about Thomas More University, visit www.thomasmore.edu.

For more information about Square1, visit www.ideastartgrow.com/.


About Thomas More University

For 100 years, Thomas More has created a university for the student who wants to Be More, Do More, Seek More, Win More, Achieve More, and Create More. Since its founding in 1921, Thomas More has provided a mission-driven, liberal arts education that is based in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Students learn to harness the power of human reason to solve problems and discover truth, which allows them to begin the journey to become the person they were created to be. Entering into the second century, it’s time for More. Serving more than 2,000 students, Thomas More aspires to be the premier Catholic university in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region, to build up the excellent ranking for ROI in Kentucky (#1 – 2021 MSN Money, #2 2022 Georgetown University study), and share with this generation the transformative power of the Thomas More experience. To find out more, visitthomasmore.edu.

About Square1

Square1, with locations in Covington and Cincinnati, seeks to uncover, educate, support, and inspire emerging entrepreneurs and leaders, who ultimately create opportunities for themselves and others by overcoming the many obstacles life poses. This mission is achieved through the NEXT program, which works with high school students to teach how innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset can change their life’s trajectory. Schools and students from across Greater Cincinnati participate in this region-wide innovation and work skills education and development program. To find out more, visit ideastartgrow.com.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lyna Kelley, director of communications and PR, kelleyl@thomasmore.edu, 859.344.3309