WILMINGTON — Leather, photography and equine massages were big hits with a panel of “sharks” during Wilmington College’s “Quaker Tank” on Wednesday.
Based around the popular ABC television series, “Shark Tank”, eight WC students/aspiring entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas before five local judges with the chance of winning up to $1,250 — each judge had $250 to give to the student of their choice.
Each contestant was given three minutes to present their idea, followed by five minutes of questions from the panel.
Among the eight, Haley Voehringer and her custom leather business, HV Leather, received the most money from the judges with $750 awarded to her by three of the judges — Paula Stewart, Jonathan McKay and Brad Heys.
Voehringer told the News Journal it felt great to be recognized by the judges and that she can do a lot with the money.
“Isn’t it great to have something built to your wants and needs,” said Voehringer at the beginning of her pitch.
The equine business major had been making custom leather items out of her dorm room for the past 18 months including wedding bouquet wraps, horse reins, and even adding leather pieces to Converse shoes. While she plans to put her degree in equine business management to use after graduating in May, she’ll definitely continue with HV Leather.
Kaleb Harp, a sophomore majoring in agriculture business, received $375 from judges Trevor Shoemaker and Sherry Weller for his Harp Videography business. Harp’s business would work with real estate agents in gathering drone footage of properties they are selling and use those to market properties.
While Weller gave half of her money to Harp, the other half went to equine business management senior Adrianna Hibbard’s Tall Pines Equine Sports Massage Therapy.
Students who presented included Ryan Wiemken and his dairy farm, Jared Shoemaker and Trenton Brown with their photography-based businesses, James Stobaugh’s smoked meat business, and Daniel Kappelin’s Nexus Enterprise which would assist in the development e-sports (electronic sports) and programs “connecting aspiring athletes and coaches.”
Dr. Tim Burgoyne, assistant professor of management, and the emcee of the night, Susan Lucas, assistant professor of marketing, were both proud of what the students had accomplished with planning the event and the presentations.
Burgoyne hopes to do it again next year with the hope of giving out $10,000 to presenters.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574