Last Friday, April 20th, Grove City College will be hosted their very own Shark Tank competition with pitches from current students. The goal of the competition is to pick an idea for $1k and under to benefit the campus and student body experience.

This pitch-style competition is modeled after the popular television series, with its own special panel of guest judges. The winning pitches receive cash prizes, and the top prize is the idea actually gets implemented on campus.

This pitch competition embodies what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. In a short amount of time, these students will have to successfully convey their idea to judges, and essentially convince them to give them the money needed to implement the idea on campus. On top of this, they need to have a fully detailed business plan and implementation policy that not only makes sense to the judges but is also feasible for a school the size of Grove City to implement.

Secondly, the competition tests their “entrepreneurial thinking”, in the sense that students need to be able to diagnose a problem on campus and develop a solution. They then need to take that passion for this problem and get the audience and judges equally as excited to then put the idea in place.

Thirdly, these ideas have to have an aspect of “social entrepreneurship” to them, meaning they have to be able to give back to the campus community in some way. Students are forced to think not only about themselves and the problems they see, but to also listen to their peers in addressing a need on campus, even if it’s technically considered a niche market.

Competitions like this one provides an outlet for GCC students and young entrepreneurs alike to practice and hone their skills to then apply them in the real business world. Think of it as a short term business accelerator: students have to make each qualifying round, continually refining and perfecting their pitch and business plan, to ultimately be granted funding and implementation for their idea.