Students jumped into the shark tank
Students jumped into the shark tank earlier this year to raise money for their businesses and passion projects. They came out with sizable checks to fund the projects they pitched.
Ideas pitched included saving homeowner’s money through an innovative water solution, high-tech decorative lighting and elite athletic apparel. In the community idea category winning projects included homeless care packages, targeted elementary reading support and no-cost youth team sports.
Each pitch was judged on the merit of the idea, return on investment, execution plan and presentation. Area sharks on the judging panel included: Roger Hargens, CEO of Accumold, Marcus Pitts, Managing Director of JLL, Mike Colwell, Executive Director of Entrepreneurial Initiatives of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Kerry Walter-Ashby, Ankeny City Council and Chris Murray president and CEO of Denny Elwell Company. Three high schools (Ankeny, Ankeny Centennial, North Polk) and three colleges (DMACC, Drake and UofI) were represented in the competition.
Open to students 16 – 24 years of age, this was the first Student Shark Tank offered by Ankeny Economic Development Corporation (AEDC). “Despite a few lessons learned, we are happy with the results and will plan to offer it again,” said Trent Murphy, AEDC chairperson. “Challenging students and connecting them with professionals in the area is a win that goes far beyond the prize money.”
The competition was held at Accumold headquarters on SE Oralabor Rd. in Ankeny. Prize money awarded totaled $4,500.
1st Place ($1,000) Homelessness: Care Packages, Christopher Martin
2nd Place ($750) Power Read, Nora Shea and Sophie Bergan
3rd Place ($500) Opportunity on Deck, Dylan DeClerck
1st Place ($1,000) Lily Pad Solutions, Amber Smith
2nd Place ($750) lightEase, Jade Nettrour
3rd Place ($500) 4th Lane Running, London Schuchart