WILMINGTON — Prize money potentially exceeding last year’s $5,000 will be available to award to emerging entrepreneurs as Wilmington College presents “Quaker Tank” — its version of ABC TV’s popular “Shark Tank” — Thursday, March 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Hugh G. Heiland Theatre.
The spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and growing at Wilmington College as the Business Department presents the third annual Quaker Tank and the first in-person competition since 2019, as the pandemic forced last year’s event to be held virtually.
“Quaker Tank” is presented with sponsorship from Lebanon Citizens National Bank as the Presenting Sponsor; Alpha & Omega Building Services and First Financial Bank are Gold Level sponsors; and First State Bank, Merchants National Bank, Peoples Bank and Tin Cap Cider are Bronze Level sponsors. Generations Pizzeria is providing food.
The competition is similar to the hit ABC show but with a twist. Instead of promoting a product or invention, WC’s contestants — all students at the College — are pitching their overall business concepts. Each will have roughly three minutes to present their idea before a panel of three “sharks.”
Sharks are business leaders from the Wilmington community that have had a chance to review the contestants’ business plans and two-year financials prior to the event. They support entrepreneurship activities in the community and are partners with the College.
After each contestant makes their opening pitch, a Q&A session ensues between the sharks and the contestant.
Each shark has a portion of the jackpot to spend on the contestants as they so choose. Indeed, last year $4,500 was given by the panel of sharks. Additionally, the Quaker Tank production team had $500 to give to their favorite contestant.
Judging is based on three main criteria: (1) Creativity – Does the contestant display a professional level of creative thought? (2) Finances – Does the contestant show complete awareness of the financial realities of an entrepreneurial venture? and (3) Feasibility – Is their project market ready?
Contestants will be making a pitch on why the prize money could best help their company either develop, launch or grow.
The finalists are Logan Hayes, who will be pitching SportsQuake (sports media); Amanda Holbrook, Country Girl’s Graphics and Gifts; Grant Mihalick: One Percent Basketball (training program for youth); Natalie Sparling, Sparling Sunglasses; and Collin Weber, Blossom Juicy Bar.