(03/11/13) - Mott College is on the hunt for Mid-Michigan's next great
entrepreneur, and it's all inspired by the ABC reality show Shark Tank.
"We love the Shark Tank here and we use it as a business teaching tool in our classes here, so the opportunity to present this here is amazing," said Lisa Banks, Mott Ballenger Lecture Series Chair.
Mott's version is the "Bear Trap". It's open to Mott students, high schoolers, and the general public. Applications along with a detailed product or upstart business description must be turned in by March 22.
"We're looking for anything and everything that somebody could bring in. What we're offering is helping to bring it to life," said Doug Prehoda, Mott Fab Lab director.
Selected contestants will pitch their ideas on April 11, not in front of the Sharks, but in front of the Bears.
"It's going to be similar in that the contestants will be standing and pitching their business ideas in front of a panel of judges. We're not offering millions of prizes, but we're also not trying to take a percentage of the business," Banks said.
Prizes include free accounting and legal services, scholarship money, laptops and iPads, along with product development help from Mott's Fab Lab.
"We can actually bring their idea, if that's all they have, to a prototype stage, so you could actually walk out of that lab with that product in your hands," Prehoda said.
There's quite the entrepreneurial buzz on campus since Shark Tank judge Daymond John visited last year as part of the Ballenger Lecture Series.
"He came in and stoked to the fire, so to speak. He gave some great advice to our students," Banks said.
The Bear Trap isn't actually affiliated with Shark Tank, but the hope is that the winners might get coached along to the point where they might be able to pitch their products on the show.
"That would be the ultimate for what we're trying to do, to help one of these businesses get started," Banks said.
For an application and "Bear Trap" rules, click HERE.
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