Full-tuition scholarships awarded by Thomas More University at the Square1 annual NEXT event in 2023


CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. (Mar. 27, 2023) — On Thursday, March 23, 2023, Square1 held its annual NEXT High School Final Pitch Event at Thomas More, co-sponsored by the University and U.S. Bank. The event provides 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. “This was probably our best event to date, and Thomas More was crucial in this outcome,” says Keith Schneider, founder and director of Square1. “The scholarship opportunities make it so exciting, and the students’ performances make it so rewarding.”

Earning first place was team BLK Beauty from Walnut Hills High School, consisting of students Cydney Emery, Hannah Ware, Jada Scott, Sidney Brown, and Bene Gyan. All receive full-tuition scholarships to Thomas More University with their pitch detailing an innovative hair company design. “BLK Beauty captured the audience and knocked their pitch out of the park,” says Schneider. “They were energized and passionate about making their NEXT experience a success from the beginning of the program months ago.” Team BLK Beauty appeared live on FOX19’s morning show to discuss their pitch and participation in the Square1 program on Monday, March 27, 2023 (find that interview HERE).

Runner up in the pitch contest, team Easy Brush, consisted of Campbell County High School student Luke Barbian. Team EcoSoap from Beechwood High School took home third place in the competition and was made up of Nick Alexander and Ella Roberts.

The 2023 NEXT event also honored Chad Scott, founder and managing director of Tindall Capital, a growth investment firm focusing on lower-middle market technology and early-stage software investments operating in targeted industries. Square1’s NEXT program works with high school students to teach 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.

To watch a video that highlights the incredible work being done in support of entrepreneurship among young people of the region, CLICK HERE.

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

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

For more information about U.S. Bank, visit www.usbank.com/about.


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.

About U.S. Bank

U.S. Bancorp, with approximately 77,000 employees and $675 billion in assets as of December 31, 2022, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association. The Minneapolis-based company serves millions of customers locally, nationally and globally through a diversified mix of businesses: Consumer and Business Banking; Payment Services; Corporate & Commercial Banking; and Wealth Management and Investment Services. MUFG Union Bank, consisting primarily of retail banking branches on the West Coast, joined U.S. Bancorp in 2022. The company has been recognized for its approach to digital innovation, social responsibility, and customer service, including being named one of the 2022 World’s Most Ethical Companies and Fortune’s most admired superregional bank. Learn more at usbank.com/about.

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