Student entrepreneurs from Adelphi University will have the chance to compete for cash prizes on Thursday, April 30, at 9 a.m. in a virtual Shark Tank-style competition hosted by the University’s Robert B. Willumstad School of Business. The annual competition, which usually takes place on campus, will be held on Zoom in a virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The five contestants will be competing to win a total of $11,000 in cash prizes. The first-place winner will be awarded $5,000, the second-place winner $3,000 and the third-place winner $2,000. The remaining $1,000 will be awarded to the student with the best two-minute elevator pitch.
Last year’s first-place winner, Chitralekha (Pooja) Kar, successfully pitched “The Garden of Green.” The Garden of Green is a portal for consumers to shop for sustainable apparel from various suppliers.
Murat Erogul, PhD, assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Adelphi, has overseen the organizing of this competition since its inception. Co-curricular Program Specialist, Lori Cary, is implementing the details of this year’s event.
This year’s finalists are Elena Garcia (Maven Media), Duc Le (Roommate Exchange), Abie Rawad Akhand (Eden), Samrat Malik (Auto Fire Hazard Control System), and Gabriel Balestero (Mind Sports Training). The finalists will present their proposals to a panel of judges, or the sharks, who will be drawn from Adelphi faculty and local business leaders. All Adelphi students were eligible to enter this competition.
“Adelphi’s vow to provide its students a well-rounded education remains unwavering in these disruptive times,” said Rajib Sanyal, dean of Adelphi’s Robert B. Willumstad School of Business. “As with teaching and learning occurring remotely, so is the hosting of our annual business plan competition — an event that draws on and rewards the creative zeal of our students”.
Echoing the famous lines etched on New York City’s James Farley Post Office building, Sanyal observed, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night and surely not the coronavirus can stay our faculty, staff, and alumni from the swift fulfilment of their commitment to student success.”
The students will be judged by Pawneet Abramowski (Principal, PARC Solutions LLC), Andy Bailen (Managing Director, 3Pe Consulting LLC), Anita D’Amico, Ph.D, (CEO, CodeDx, Inc.), Graziela Fusaro (Director, Innovation Center, Adelphi University)and Michael Hurley (Senior Strategic Account Manager, App Annie) who are all business professionals and entrepreneurs.
“The experience has been nothing short of eye-opening,” said finalist Duc Lr. “It encouraged me to consider the good, the bad and the ugly of setting up a business. Ultimately, all three contribute to the beauty of entrepreneurship. Bringing your vision to life can be very rewarding.”
“It is an honor to be part of this amazing competition,” said finalist Gabriel Balestero. “I am learning so much and feel very grateful to have this opportunity to show my ideas!”
“In the midst of uncertainty, I am very happy that Adelphi is still providing us the platform to experience something that I have planned for so long,” said finalist Rawad Akhand.
Members of the media are welcome to virtually attend and cover.