Posts Tagged ‘Shark Tank’

WANT TO COMPETE IN SHARK TANK?

October 31st, 2016 by cgevry

SaderSandbox: Idea Session, Round 2🔔
Now worries if you missed the first brainstorming session, your second chance is right around the corner!

Join HCEG on Tuesday, November 1st for our final Idea Session where you will:
– get feedback/advice from experienced entrepreneurs
– meet potential team members
– learn next steps in competing in the annual Shark Tank

Don’t let this opportunity float away – we hope to see you there!
> Tuesday, November 1 at 7pm in Stein 216
> Free pizza and refreshments
> #12Kontheline

Annual Shark Tank Competition Results!

March 3rd, 2016 by cgevry

By now you must have heard, the fourth annual Shark Tank competition was a huge success.  Originally advertised that teams could win “up to $10,000,” the final pay out was $14,500! With four great pitches, two winning teams and a panel of successful alumni judges, I can hardly wait to see what is in store for next year.  Many thanks to everyone involved!


2016 Shark Tank Competition Winners

FIRST PRIZE: $12,000: Breweries Stewardship Alliance
>Matt Watson ’16 is an anthropology major, and has self-designed his own food studies minor. He is interested in bringing about sustainable, ethical reform within our global food system and is seeking to empower environmentally friendly craft-breweries.

SECOND PRIZE: $2,500: StEP (Student Empowerment Program)
>Sean Griffin ’16 & Jake Medina ’16 are the founders of StEP, a non-profit organization that seeks to close the educational technology gap. StEP partners with existing college and university service programs to enhance educational non-profits and schools with innovative technology, ongoing training, and access to online resources.

THANK YOU to our 2016 JUDGES:

Michael Balmuth: Partner, SV Life Sciences
Michael Guleserian ’93: Chief Experience Officer, Nubar, Sheraton Commander Hotel
James Horne ’98: Analyst, IBS Capital LLC
Larry Naughton ’93: Co-Chair of the Business & Technology Group, Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP

Read a review of the event from Emma Collins ’16 HERE and check the COES website for more information.

Photo Credit: Rob Carlin

Shark Tank Competition – Student Review

April 1st, 2015 by cgevry
DSC_9544

Photo Credit: Chris Christo

For all of the aspiring entrepreneurs out there, last Thursday night’s Shark Tank Competition was one for the books. Twenty-one groups of male and female Crusaders shared their ideas for potential products and businesses, competing for cash prizes and the ultimate reward, being named this year’s Shark Tank winner!

Clever Ideas, the first section of the night, consisted of a two minute verbal pitch without the aid of a powerpoint nor a question and answer session preceding it. The prizes at stake were two amounts of $250, and the pitch had to address these three main questions: What’s the product or service, what’s the value proposition, and who’s the customer? Although six groups competed, only two emerged victorious, and those were the apps Gavel, Michael Carboni ’18, and Tap and Teach, Alex Yeo ’15. Gavel focuses on addressing the lack of political expertise among United State’s citizens by simplifying the presentation and explanation of bills currently on the floor. The app will provide a list of bills per week, a short summary of the bill written at a high-school reading level, definitions of key terms and phrases, and the outcomes of each vote so users can directly see if a bill was passed or not. On the other hand, Tap and Teach is an app that wants to “redefine the world of tutoring.” Essentially, it will provide affordable, accessible tutoring and streamline the process of working with a tutor at Holy Cross. Because the app will feature the tutor’s profiles, all of whom will be Holy Cross students, the connection between the tutor and the student will be that much easier.

Directly following this was presentations for a Serious Start-Up, the main event of the night. Each group completed a five-minute pitch and a subsequent two-minute question and answer session, focusing on questions such as: What’s the product or service and how does it work, why is it necessary, what is your plan to grow your company, and what are the projected cash inflows and outflows for the first three years? All the participants in this section especially felt the pressure as first prize was $7,500 and second prize was $4,000, both amounts designed to help winners make their budding businesses concrete realities. Fifteen teams presented their ideas, ranging from Dmix, a program that provides quality, individualized song edits and mixes for dance performances and fitness classes, to RightOver, a shared-economy, freemium marketplace that matches college chefs with hungry college stomachs. Although each team’s idea was fantastically creative, Studily, Sean Donoghue ’15 & ohn Tabone ’15, and SKRA (pronounced ser-ka), Andrw Valencia ’15 & Michael Casey ’15, were the two concepts that emerged victorious. Studily, a productivity suite that allows students to plan their coursework, track their progress, and collaborate with classmates, took top prize. In addition, this app would allow for real-time, anonymous assessment of the course, an especially useful feature for professors using it to gauge student’s experiences in and reactions to the class. SKRA, which took second prize, is a newsfeed platform that enables recipients of blast emails to manage their responses to these emails. Not only does it allow students to gain control over their email inbox, for once, but it also can be used as event management software for high school student and college student involvement offices to track current and upcoming events.

Of course the judging panel had their work cut out for them, I’m sure it wasn’t easy to pick the winners.   A big thank you to judging panel:

Bob Allard ’91, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, extensionEngine (eE)
Mary Moran ’77, Financial Services Consultant and Contractor
John Calcio, VP, Channel Development, QStream
Ben Kaplan ’16, Co-Founder & CEO, WiGO & 2013 Holy Cross Shark Tank Winner
Tom Flynn ’87, Managing Partner, SV Life Sciences
Davide Marini, Co-Founder & CEO, Firefly BioWorks

Overall, the night was truly a success, leaving its participants confident in their products and businesses and its audience inspired to work towards creating their own company as well. If you did not attend this year, all I can say is to make it a priority on your calendar next year; you will not regret it.

Thanks to Evan Grogan ’17 for this review of the annual Shark Tank Competition!  View photos from the event here.

As always – check out the new COES instapage @HCPrebusiness.

Cassie Gevry
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

 

Shark Tank Competition: Winners Circle

March 27th, 2015 by cgevry
S15 Shark Tank Winners

Photo Credit: Chris Christo

 

On Thursday, March 26th, 21 student teams competed for over $10,000 in prize money.  Teams pitched their product/service idea to a panel of alumni judges for the chance to win! Students were given five minutes to pitch with just two minutes of Q&A, thanks to our avid time keeper Sophia Jin ’15.

With so many teams and such high stakes you can imagine how stiff the competition was, never mind skimming down to just two final winners for the overall prizes.  A big thank you to our alumni judging panel, listed below.

 

 

2015 Judges:

Bob Allard ’91, Co-Founder, extensionEngine (eE)
John Calcio, VP, Channel Development, QStream
Tom Flynn ’87, Managing Partner, SV Life Sciences
Ben Kaplan ’16, Co-Founder & CEO, WiGO & 2013 Holy Cross Shark Tank Winner
Davide Marini, Co-Founder & CEO, Firefly BioWorks
Mary Moran ’77, Financial Services Consultant and Contractor

Spring 2015 Competition Winners:

Serious Start-Up Winners

John Tabone ’15 and Sean Donoghue
$7,500 to First Place: STUDILY is a productivity suite that allows students to plan their coursework, track their progress, and collaborate with classmates.

Andrew Valencia ’15, Michael Casey ’15, James LaVersci ’15
$4,000 for Second Place: SRKA (pronounced ser-ka) is a newsfeed platform that enables recipients of blast emails to manage their responses to these emails and an online event management software for high school/college student involvement offices to track current and upcoming events.

Clever Idea Winners

$250 awarded to Michael Carboni ’18
GAVEL is an app that summarizes current legislative bills that are on the floor for voting. This app summarizes the key points with a highlighted 1-2 page nonpartisan summary. The language of the response will be written at an early high school reading level so teachers can implement this resource into the classroom and all people can understand. The app is broken down into 3 sections: agenda, bill summary, and definitions.

$250 awarded to Alex Yeo ’15
TAP AND TEACH is a mobile app that connects students to qualified tutors.  Tap and Teach offers affordable on-demand tutoring and provides tutors with a consistent source of income.

Thanks to all the teams who competed! Click to view more photos of the event on our Facebook page.

Annual Shark Tank Competition

March 2nd, 2015 by cgevry

Annual SHARK TANK COMPETITION – Open to Campus (Come Watch!)
SharkTank_Comp S15 2
Over $10,000 in Prize Monies! *Multiple prizes will be awarded.

Competition Date: Thursday, March 26, 2015
5:30pm in McGrath Lecture Hall (Smith Labs 155)

TWO COMPETITIONS: (Choose one)
1. Clever Idea: Distill your idea into a two-minute pitch.  No Q&A.
Two prizes will be awarded at $250/team for an original and promising idea.

2. Serious Start-up: 5 minute pitch + 5 minute Q&A.
Two prizes will be awarded for teams most ready for launching their business.  First prize is $7,500/team.  Second prize is $4,000/team.

Pitch your product/service idea to a panel of alumni judges for the chance to win! *Multiple prize monies awarded from clever idea to serious start-up, only to be used towards venture.

2015 JUDGES:
John Addonizio P16, CEO, J. Addonizio & Company, LLC
Bob Allard ’91, Co-Founder, extensionEngine (eE)
John Calcio, VP Channel Development, QStream
Tom Flynn ’87, Managing Partner, SV Life Sceinces
Ben Kaplan ’15, Co-Founder & CEO, WIGO & 2013 Holy Cross Shark Tank Winner
Mary Moran ’77, Financial Services Consultant and Contractor

REGISTER: http://offices.holycross.edu/business/sharktankcompetition (Teams must register by Thursday, March 19th to compete.)

Don’t want to compete but want to check out all the good ideas?  COME WATCH!! Free and open to the campus community.

HC Shark Tank Winner Ben Kaplan ’16 Set to Launch New Social Networking App

September 25th, 2013 by hhoran

As those of you who are avid readers of this blog might remember, last spring the Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies and the Entrepreneurship Club co-sponsored the inaugural Holy Cross Shark Tank competition where Ben Kaplan ’16 took home the grand prize for his original social networking app: WiGO.

Well, we are excited to announce that since last spring Kaplan has taken serious strides towards making WiGO (Who is Going Out) come alive and he has the initial launch slated for this early October.  Holy Cross just might have its very own Mark Zuckerburg on its hands.

The goal of Kaplan’s app is to simplify the process of making social plans for college students.  As a freshman at HC, Kaplan felt that making social plans and figuring out “who is going out?” was unnecessarily challenging.  College students didn’t want to constantly be sending out group texts and no one wanted to always be posting all the details of social plans online and so WiGO was born.

The app creates networks based on a users’ college or university email address so that, for example, when an HCer logs in their homepage will show all of the other HCers who are users and indicate who has – or has not – said they’re headed out that night.  There’s no specifics given, just “I am going out”, and there’s no friending process like with Facebook.  Rather, if you go to HC you can see everyone else in your network and vice versa.  From there, Kaplan believes that this app will make it easy to see who wants to go out and then utilize the app’s chat function to make plans.  Additionally, if you see someone on the app who you’d like to encourage to go out you have the option to “shoulder tap” them, which lets them know you’d like them to see them out.

I had the chance to sit down and talk to Kaplan last week, as he prepared for the upcoming app launch, and what I was really struck by was the way he has developed an initial idea he had last spring into a real live app.  He explained to me how he’d started the summer interviewing web developers and coders and ultimately settled on a team from Green Mountain Software, located in his hometown of Burlington, VT.  He then spent the rest of the summer working with them to take what was initially an idea in his head and turn it into something that’s accessible and user friendly.  We discussed why he decided to hire a local team, rather than outsourcing the coding as many app developers do, and he said that the opportunity to actually meet with, and have easy access to, his coding team was ultimately one of the best decisions he made.  It allowed him to take real ownership in the creation process and meant that he could be involved making changes and decisions during the course of development.

Kaplan also credited the Holy Cross alumni network as being indispensable in this process.  The time and feedback that he said so many alumni were willing to give him was very beneficial in the development of this app.  Last spring, Shark Tank judge Chris Stephenson had told Kaplan that if he brought his idea to Seattle he’d meet with him to discuss.  Kaplan cashed in on this promise over the summer, flying to the West Coast to meet, and also said that there were many other alumni who connected him with local entrepreneurs, weighed in on questions of copyright and intellectual property law and offered feedback as he moved through the process.

Obviously in launching an app, the marketing efforts are, in many ways, as important as the actual coding and Kaplan explained that he had a clear game plan for that too: he was starting by focusing on sports teams here at HC, because such a larger percentage of students are involved in them, and had reached out to individuals on the various teams to get them onboard as ambassadors.  The plan is that these individuals will encourage their teammates to download, and use, the app thus creating the initial injection of users needed to get WiGO off the ground.  From there the hope is that it will catch on organically and as students see how easy and effective it is to use they will encourage their friends to use it, too.

What’s the plan long term?  Well, Kaplan is initially launching the app exclusively here at Holy Cross and you need to have a verified Holy Cross student email address in order to register.  But, looking forward, Kaplan said his next step would be to roll it out to a handful of additional colleges, continue to monitor its growth, and then allow it to continue to spread to schools across the country.

Towards the end of our talk Kaplan said that he thinks no matter what happens with WiGO – whether it gets off the ground or not – the process of creating the app and bringing it to market has been incredibly valuable in and of itself.  That being said, after listening to him for an hour – hearing where the idea came from, how he built the app, and how he plans to roll it out – this blogger has a hard time believing Kaplan isn’t going to make this a success.

First Annual HCEG Shark Tank a Success: Great ideas & How to make $1 million…

April 8th, 2013 by hhoran

Last evening’s First Annual Shark Tank competition, sponsored by the Holy Cross Entrepreneurs Group and Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies, was a resounding success.  With registration somewhat uncertain right up until the event started, no one in the room was totally sure what to expect, but by the end of the night the feeling was unanimous – these Holy Cross students had some really great ideas!

The night kicked off with pizza and soda and the room was filled not just with competitors but spectators who showed up to see what their classmates had managed to come up with for ideas.  Seniors Andrew Coury and Ed Pesce, co-chairs of the HC Entrepreneurs Group on campus, were in charge of planning this event and they recruited quite an esteemed panel of alumni judges to give feedback – both positive and negative – to the student teams participating.  These judges included: Mary Moran ’77, Patrick Sansonetti ’93, John Schiffmann ’82, Chris Stephenson ’97 and Bryan Sparkes ’04.

Unlike the television version of Shark Tank, the HC competition didn’t involve a lot of yelling but that didn’t stop the judges from asking critical questions and really challenging the students to think about how, exactly, their business would work.

In all, there were 5 pitches – two teams and three individuals – and the ideas included a dorm delivery service where students could order necessities and have them delivered in under an hour, a service to help people more successfully embrace the tailgating experience, an autodetailing company that would come to your home or work to clean your car, and a video game where the player assumed the character of a dog and faced “dog-like” challenges.

However, at the end of the night, it was freshman Ben Kaplan who walked away with the $100 prize for the top idea.  Not only had Kaplan clearly spent a great deal of time thinking about how, exactly, his idea for a new social media platform would work but he had already come up with a clever acronym for the name of the product and had a logo.  (Specifics are being omitted because Kaplan is in the process of working to actually get this idea off the ground and this blogger doesn’t want to be accused of “over sharing”!)  To give you an idea of how impressed the judges were with Kaplan’s presentation, let’s just say that when he was awarded top prize one of the alumni judges offered him the chance to get in a room with real investors and do a formal pitch.

The other great thing about this event was not only did the students give impressive presentations, but the alumni all took the opportunity to use their professional experiences to give the students in the ro0m insight and advice on how to go about launching a successful idea.  One of the favorite take aways from the night was Chris Stephenson’s advice on how to make $1 million:  “Figure out how to make $1.  Then do it one million times.”  Sounds pretty simple, right?

Overall, a great night.  The level of excitement was definitely high as people left the competition and lots of people indicated that they are looking forward to seeing this grow into an annual event at Holy Cross.  If the ideas that keep coming in the future are as strong as last night’s, there’s no doubt that Shark Tank will become even more competitive and, hopefully, attract a growing number of students to take the risk, come up with an idea and participate.

Thank you to all the judges, student participants and spectators for taking the time to come out and we’ll see you again next year for Shark Tank Round #2.

As always, don’t forget to “Like” us on FACEBOOK, follow us on Twitter and look for our WIBSBP and ELW groups on LinkedIN.

Helene

Helene Horan
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies