NSU’s Shark Tank: The Idea Pitch Competition

Photo courtesy of Northern State University School of Business Facebook page

   Inspiring students to think more creatively has always been a goal for Northern. On November 17, the School of Business did just that in the second annual Idea Pitch Competition (IPC) held in the Lincoln Hall Gallery.
   The IPC has become a way for members of the Northern community to share ideas and designs. With numerous ideas prepared, Northern students embraced this opportunity. Facing the sharks – business owners, entrepreneurs, bankers, etc. – the pitchers delivered their ideas with great enthusiasm. They showed everyone that these ideas are not only fun to discuss but can also be applicable in the business world.
   The first idea of the night was “Recycling Queen,” presented by Mackenzie Thielen and Gabriella Laimer. The pair came up with the idea of collecting aluminum cans from bars, apartments, and schools, and bringing them to the recycling center to make money out of trash.
   Next was Taylor Ellingson who presented the idea “Mom on a Mission.” Inspired by everyday moms who are always busy with a mountain of chores to accomplish, Ellingson wanted to create a network of “moms” in the community who can assist others in all kinds of areas, from buying groceries, to making dinner, at any time.
   Introduced soon after was “Growing Life,” by Lexi Ward and Autumn Schulz. “Growing Life” is the idea of using the ashes of your pets to grow a tree to help memorialize them after they pass away.
   “We are Family,” presented by HwaYoung Lee, HyeMin Lee, YoonChan Kim, and Seonil Kim, emphasized the benefit of Northern for international students and why others should attend Northern in the future. They argued that although they have visited many big cities, none has made them feel at home more than Aberdeen, where they can spend time with their host families from the “Friends from Afar” program.
   There were many successful presentations, but “Recycling Queen,” presented by Thieler and Lainer, took home the People’s Choice Award.
   The overall winning idea chosen by the sharks was “Growing Life,” by Ward and Schulz. The team won a prize value of $2500, including a $500 gift card from the NSU Wolf Shoppe. If they decide to enter the spring 2016 Giant Vision contest – sponsored by Aberdeen Development Corp., Small Business Development Center, and other community organizations – they will receive $2000 worth of consulting time and resources to support their winning project.

Vinh Nguyen
Staff Writer