8 Wittenberg students pitch entrepreneurial ideas during Tiger Tank event

Eight Wittenberg University students had the opportunity to pitch their entrepreneurial ideas to three judges during this year’s Tiger Tank event, which is similar to the show Shark Tank.

This event, sponsored by the Department of Business and Economics, gives students the chance to learn, present and further an idea in a fun and comfortable environment.

The students developed their own idea for a product, service, business or nonprofit venture. The presentations were also a part of a required experiential learning experience in the university’s Business 350 class, taught by Kevin Steidel, professor of practice, business, economics, and entrepreneurship. who hosted the event.

The students included Amya Brown, class of 2023 from Cleveland; Hunter Blair, class of 2023 from Westerville; Nick Downs, class of 2024 from Plymouth, MI; Hannah Weymouth, class of 2023 from New Carlisle; Kailey Cordova, class of 2023 from Schaumburg, IL; Cassidy Webber, class of 2024 from Hilliard; James Fuller, class of 2023 from Miamisburg; and Jaida Malone, class of 2025 from Brook Park.

No overall winner was named, but each student was awarded a prize to help further their idea.

The judges this year included: Melanie Barrett, Wittenberg class of 2021 and past Tiger Tank winner, who is the CEO of Bailey’s Capes; Kristen Bailey, Wittenberg class of 2002, who is the CEO of Sweets and Meats BBQ and a current board member of America’s Small Business Development Center; and Rob Alexander, executive director of the Small Business Development Center in Springfield.

“It can be pretty scary to share your business idea with someone for the first time, especially in a room with dozens of people watching you. But the students showed up very well prepared, presented with confidence, and answered questions like a pro. I was impressed,” Alexander said.

“Successful entrepreneurs have a different relationship with fear and failure than most other people because they don’t cave into their fears, and they don’t dwell on their failures. Whether they knew it or not, the students who faced their fears on the Tiger Tank stage were actively rewiring their brain to deal with fear and failure like a true-blue entrepreneur.”

The students and projects:

Amya Brown, a communication and digital media major pursing a minor in entrepreneurship, pitched her “Tru Story” idea, which allows grieving people to enter thoughts into a prompted journal. Her prize was to work with the Urbana, Ohio-based, global brand company, Bolder & Co. Creative Studios, Inc., to help her build a logo and a social media presence.

Hunter Blair, a finance major pursing a minor in entrepreneurship, pitched his “extension cord/surge pro” idea that includes a prototype for a customizable cord that can be matched to paint colors, lengths, widths, etc. He was awarded five business coaching sessions with Blake Shaffer, owner of LWS Tax and Accounting Services.

Nick Downs, a sports management major pursuing a minor in entrepreneurship, pitched his idea of “Cleat Pro” with a prototype that fits onto a cleat to prevent mud build up while playing sports. He was awarded five business coaching session with Kyle Barger, Wittenberg class of 2007 and an entrepreneur.

Hannah Weymouth, who is pursuing majors in communication and digital media and entrepreneurship and a minor in educational studies, pitched her food truck idea of “Juicy Jim’s.” She was awarded free logo design and truck wrap through Best Graphics, a Columbus-based company specializing in vehicle wrap design.

Kailey Cordova, an entrepreneurship and communication double major, pitched her “Drink Up Blue Apron” for exotic craft cocktails. She was awarded five business coaching sessions.

Cassidy Webber, a psychology major, pitched her idea “Analyze Jewelry” to start a child psychology business and incorporate mood jewelry and data analytics into an app that can track mood swings to help identify things that have happened in a given time period. Her prize was free website and app design by Big Fish Local, a Springfield company that specializes in web application and web design.

James Fuller, a marketing major pursuing a minor in communication, pitched his “Van of Photos” ideas to bring his studio to his clients. He was awarded a one-year paid membership to the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce to help build and focus on commerce, find an array of people through the chamber who can help with equipment needs, and build price models, etc.

Jaida Malone, a sports management major, pitched “Soul Sneakers” with a prototype for custom insoles. She was awarded one year of legal counsel to help further her idea through Nathan Painter of Painter & Associates, Attorneys at Law.

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