Student entrepreneur Ethan Holmes ’16 is in the running for exposure, support resources and a check for up to $1,500 for his business Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce.
The management major from Shaker Heights is one of three finalists in the Charter One Foundation’s Student Business Idea Competition. The contest is part of the 2014 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo at the Cleveland Museum of Art, which Holmes will attend on April 7, 2014. There, he will pitch his idea to investors, journalists and resource providers to get feedback, advice on legal matters and exposure.
The winner of the idea competition will also be announced at the expo. A judging panel has already determined the top three finalists (including Holmes), and currently, the public can vote for the finalists. The public’s vote will count for 24 percent of the final scores.
Holmes started his business, which sells 100 percent all-natural applesauce made with Ohio farm-fresh apples, as a freshman in high school. Since then, he has continued to grow the business, but the product is currently only sold at local farmers markets and tasting events.
If he wins the competition, Holmes plans to use the money for inventory and legal costs associated with getting his product in grocery stores by December 2014. His product offers a healthier, more natural and better tasting alternative to grocery store applesauce brands. Ten percent of his proceeds benefit University Hospital’s childhood obesity initiatives.
Holmes’s entrepreneurial is inspired by the book “Reallionaire” by Farrah Gray, who made one million dollars by the time he was 14 years old.