You are here

Shark Tank!

UMD Shark Tank 2017 image
March 22, 2017

Students: Pitch your idea for a business, product, or service.

All UMD students with entrepreneurial aspirations are invited to participate in the second annual UMD Shark Tank, an entrepreneurship competition where students pitch their ideas for a business, product, or service to a panel of judges (similar to the popular television show) for a chance to win prize money.

Interested students must fill out an application at or at the event’s Facebook Page "UMD Shark Tank Competition.” Applications are due March 28. Ideas at any stage are welcome, from brand new ideas to those that are already being pursued and/or are active. A review committee composed of officers of the Entrepreneurship Club, Shark Tank committee members, and select faculty will blindly review the applications and select six business ideas/models as finalists for the event

The UMD Shark Tank event will be held Monday, April 24, 2017 from 4 pm to 6:30 p.m. in Marshall Performing Arts Center, on the UMD campus. It is free of charge and open to the public. 

The competition, organized by Entrepreneurship students Mitch Brown and Natasha Perkerwicz, will be judged by a panel of Duluth business professionals and offers cash prizes for the top three business ideas with a first place prize of $1,500. The audience also has the opportunity to vote for their favorite business idea and can win that entrepreneur $300.

Newly added this year, the six applicants selected to pitch their idea in the competition will have the opportunity to work with a mentor in their field prior to the show. Mentors will help applicants develop their idea prior to the competition, as well provide feedback on ways to enhance their business idea. These mentors are made up of local businessmen and women who have shown excellence in the field on entrepreneurship.

The UMD Shark Tank is different than past entrepreneurship competitions. While previous competitions were composed solely of the contestants and judges, UMD Shark Tank event is school-wide, and community members are encouraged to come watch the competition, ask the contestants questions about their business ideas, and enjoy light refreshments and snacks. Audience members also have the opportunity to win door prizes, and UMD students will be credited with “Group A Passport Credit” for attending.

The competition is sponsored this year by the Labovitz School of Business and Economics, in support of Entrepreneurship.