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Kent State Student Receives $25,000 Innovation Fund
Brian Bowles, a junior entrepreneurship major, received one of two types of awards presented by the Ohio Third Frontier, a technology-based economic development initiative, to assist him in his business venture; Blackwolf Tactical, LLC.
“We are excited to hear the positive news that Brian was awarded the Innovation Fund,” said Craig Zamary, a lecturer in the Marketing and Entrepreneurship Department. “He is one of our hardest working student entrepreneurs and has a relentless commitment to succeed.”
Bowles’ company Blackwolf Tactical, LLC, is creating a police and military training platform that allows police to turn any physical location into a reactive training environment by sensing motion, proximities and locations.
“Brian is the definition of 'entrepreneur'. He is constantly learning, pivoting, asking all the right questions and pursues every avenue available to him,” said Mary Heidler, operations manager for the College of Business Administration’
The Ohio Third Frontier offers two awards. The first, which Bowles won, is $25,000 used for validating Bowles’ technology. His concept needs to be proven by creating a prototype to be developed and tested. The second is $100,000 and is used to validate the business model, meaning the technology is developed and a prototype exists.
To receive either fund, applicants first had to fill out an online application and include extensive three-year project projections. The selected applicants then presented their ideas and were again narrowed down. After a final 15-minute presentation, the Ohio Third Frontier selected the winners.
With the money he received from the fund, Bowles said his company will use it to finish its digital bullet system, purchase the real-time locating system, integrate the different components into one system and cover the costs for the legal paperwork.
“We are very excited to be moving Blackwolf Tactical to the prototype stage with the award from the Innovation Fund,” Bowles said. “I could not have gotten this far without Kent State’s College of Business Administration. The faculty and staff of the college and the CEBI have been a tremendous source of insight and have provided valuable connections over the past two years. Plus, they are my best cheerleaders.”
For more information about the Kent State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (CEBI) and the College of Business Administration, visit www.kent.edu (http://www2.kent.edu/