Shark showdown: Temple’s entrepreneurs take a dip in the tank

WRITTEN BY: RYAN FRASCELLA

On Wednesday, entrepreneurs from all different schools at Temple, converged in the Fox School of Business ticker room to present their ideas to four judges. The event was designed to mimic the popular ABC television show Shark Tank, where contestants pitch an idea to a panel of investors who subsequently decide if they would like to invest in the product. Standing room was all that remained for people who wanted their chance to see the next great invention.

Temple's Fox School of Business held a mock-Shark Tank event on Wed. Nov. 11, 2015. Students of various majors attempted to wow the judges with their innovative ideas for the future. (Photo by: Eric White)
Temple’s Fox School of Business held a mock-Shark Tank event on Wed. Nov. 11, 2015. Students of various majors attempted to wow the judges with their innovative ideas for the future. (Photo by: Eric White)

At the event, students displayed all different types of possible products from tools to help people who have Parkinson’s disease to an idea that would combine carbon and water to create an instant splint for an injury.

Temple student Tyler Stoltzfus took the stage to try and impress the judges with his idea to create a company that specializes in local, eco-friendly clothing dyes. Stoltzfus named the company Seed, and explained why he thinks it has what it takes to succeed.

“With eco-friendly clothing gaining traction, companies are making their products more eco-friendly to distinguish themselves from their competitors,” Stoltzfus said. “Many of the current suppliers of our target customer have less eco friendly processes than ourselves.”

After explaining his product, the judges were quick to grill Stoltzfus on the practicality of his proposed company.

“Do the companies manufacture their product here?” one judge asked. “Even local companies don’t have local supply chains. That will be a barrier to entry.”

The Fox School's "Shark Tank" event was packed with students and faculty eager to hear the pitches the entrepreneurs brought into the "tank" with them. (Photo by: Eric White)
The Fox School’s “Shark Tank” event was packed with students and faculty eager to hear the pitches the entrepreneurs brought into the “tank” with them. (Photo by: Eric White)

Aside from Seed, another presenter who captured the attention of the crowd and judges was a bioengineering student who came up with the idea for QSC Brace. QSC Brace is designed to be a fast acting stabilizer for anyone who suffers a break or fracture of any bone.

“It would be the carbon fiber sleeve, which you would slide over the break and add water,” the presenter said. “It’s going to activate shrink-to-fit and then cure, creating an instant splint cast that provides 360-degree protection as well.”

During the QSC Brace presentation, it was noted that this product could provide flexibility to a variety of audiences.

“What I thought of is that if we have a rigid epoxy, we have something that resembles a cast in the end,” he said. “Or, we can create something that’s more flexible, think if this epoxy cures to rubber cement consistency, it looks more like a sports or athletic brace.”

QSC Brace explained what they think will be the biggest markets for them, should the company find success.

“I think a big market would be the military,” they said. “Something that you could get on quickly, that’s deployed, and you can get your soldier off the battlefield in the event of an ambush. You want something that you can get on quickly, pick up your weapon, and start firing.”

The Fox School, which was just named to the top ten schools for entrepreneurship by The Princeton Review this past week, continues to put Temple – and its students – on the map. With such national recognition of the school, many of the pitches made at the Shark Tank-like event may actually have a future in the market.

With so much emphasis placed on innovation and developing new products for the future, these students are the epitome of what it means to take matters into your own hands and create solutions for the problems of today in order to ensure a better tomorrow.

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