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Communications and Marketing

Rocking the ‘Tank’

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program students researched business ideas and pitched them to top professionals in the first Shark Tank-style event on campus.

The 13 student entrepreneurs presented a broad range of business ideas, from a ski-lift seat warmer to a wakeboard cable park to a European-style brewery.

Each student had 10 minutes to wow the panel of five local business leaders and another 10 minutes of questioning by panel members in front of a packed audience. The event, held April 15, was based on the popular reality-TV series.

Preparation was key. “This was definitely a semester-long project,” said Alec DeAngelo ’16, a business major and entrepreneurship and innovation minor. “It took a lot of research.”

The feedback from the “sharks” was an important part of the students’ research.

“This experience gave me the confidence to actually pitch a business idea,” said DeAngelo, who would like to launch his own business some day. “Now I know what it takes and what I can improve on in the future.”

Darlene Jaffke, assistant professor of business and ENTP coordinator, applauds the student entrepreneurs “for their dedication, passion and courage in rising to this occasion with truly innovative and creative new business ideas,” she said. “It’s not easy presenting to five highly successful and inquisitive business people, particularly in a Shark Tank format.”

The inaugural Shark Tank event featured the first group of Entrepreneurship and Innovation minors. “They represent the Entrepreneurship program well,” Jaffke said.