Students present ideas at Shark Tank

Liberty University students of various majors presented their company ideas to be picked apart by a panel of judges in hopes of getting an investment at Shark Tank. This event was held by the Association of Marketing Professionals (AMP) Monday, April 22.

Invest — Students tried to get a panel of judges to “invest” in their ideas. Photo credit: Abby Kourkounakis

At Shark Tank, an event based on the television show by the same name, students tried to get the judges, who were posing as investors with fictitious funds, to either invest in or buy their ideas. Each group had three to five minutes to present its project and sway the judges.

“All of the ideas were really good, but obviously when you are playing a game like this, we are talking about the big bucks,” Professor Kurt Cornfield, an assistant professor in the School of Business, said.

Although the judges were not true investors, they treated this as real practice for the students by asking them questions about annual revenue, market penetration and the targeted demographic.

“In business, what you want to look at is how you are going to add value to the customer,” Professor Edward Moore of the Business School said.

According to Moore, it is important for the students to see the real potential of their projects and to not oversell or undersell it.

In total, seven ideas were demonstrated. Among these concepts were the top three: a clothing shop for the working girl called Mystique Boutique, a restaurant where people can choose specifically what they want on their waffles called PB&K Waffles, and lastly, a technology that can help monitor and control the access of parking lots, called Smart Parking.

Business — Smart Parking took home first place. Photo credit: Abby Kourkounakis

During a short intermission, the audience voted on whom they wanted to win while the judges deliberated the scores.

Smart Parking took first place, winning a $250 gift certificate and an Anders Ink pen.

According to senior Taylor Rymer, the team leader for Smart Parking, the group’s idea was originally intended for their capstone project in the engineering school.

“Whenever we graduate, we have to find a problem that needs to be solved using our real world engineering skills,” Rymer said. “We presented this idea to the Liberty University Police Department (LUPD) and they really loved it.”

Smart Parking would help LUPD as well as Liberty students by creating an app for Smart Parking to tell when a parking lot is full, according to Rymer.

Rymer said prototype of Smart Parking will be demonstrated May 6 in DeMoss Hall along with other engineering projects.

Before the event ended, professor Kendrick Brunson encouraged students to prepare by practicing their presentation skills.

“This is still the land of opportunity and entrepreneurship,” Brunson said. “We want to protect these ideas (from being stolen), especially the younger generations who have a lot of great ideas that we are going to be working with (in the future).”


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