Student and alumni entrepreneurs filed into the Grand Hall of the Whitman School on Friday, Oct. 23 to compete in the first-ever Orange Tank pitch competition, a Shark Tank-style competition where teams comprised of current students and alumni entrepreneurs from the Whitman School of Management pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges in hopes of winning a cash prize. Both the top student and alumni pitch teams were awarded $1,000 sponsored by the Whitman Dean’s Fund.
Top prize among the student teams went to PowerSpike, a business that makes it easy for a content creator or eSports organization to get sponsored on Twitch, while making the platform’s fractured viewership accessible to a wide array of brands.
On the Alumni side, The Reaverbocker Brewery came out on top. The Reaverbocker Brewery is a 15-barrel distribution brewery and public house set to open in Syracuse, N.Y. in 2016 that will allow patrons to see the art of craft beer making in the relaxed environment of a neighborhood pub.
Mike Shaw, a Management and Marketing Management double major at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, represented Wundershirt in the student competition. Sam Sanders, a Finance, Supply Chain Management and Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises triple major and Information Technology Design and Startups minor, makes up the other half of the Wundershirt team. Wundershirt is a performance apparel company that provides a t-shirt which recycles the energy your body gives off ultimately allowing wearers to work out longer, recover from workouts quicker, alleviate pain at an accelerated pace and regulate body temperature. This makes it easier for their customers to keep exercising when their bodies would otherwise feel tired.
Mike and Sam had an excellent experience at the Orange Tank competition and were thankful for the opportunity to be around other successful student and alumni entrepreneurs. Mike said meeting and talking with attendees allowed him to learn a lot from others with similar ambitions who have taken their ideas and turned them into reality. Mike admitted that pitching the business in front of judges was nerve-racking at first, because he was pitching to judges whose believed that “in order to better understand your company, [they] need to play devil’s advocate.” However, he also stated, “once you talk to the judges, you understand that they want you to succeed and want to help you succeed.”
For Mike, Sam and the rest of the entrepreneurs, Orange Tank was an amazing opportunity that allowed them to hone their pitching skills, gain invaluable feedback on their business and learn from experienced entrepreneurs.
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