Four teams recently competed in the fourth annual Shark Tank Competition sponsored by the Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies. Students presented their original ideas prepared through various COES workshops with the aid of alumni mentors. This year’s participants included Sean Griffin ’16, Jake Medina ’16, Matt Heffner ’16, Matt Watson ’16, Reilly Bloom ’18, and Michael Sise ’18. The judges panel included alumni members Michael Guleserian ’93, chief experience officer of Nubar and Sheraton Commander Hotel; James Horne ’98, analyst at IBS Capital LLC; Larry Naughton ’93, co-chair of the Business & Technology Group, Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP; and Michael Balmuth, partner at SV Life Sciences.
Matthew Watson ’16, center, an anthropology major with a self-designed food studies minor, took home the grand prize of $12,000 with his pitch to start the Brewery Stewardship Alliance, a sustainability certification program that empowers environmentally-friendly craft breweries. In a turn of events, the judges awarded Jake Medina ’16 and Sean Griffin ’16 second place with $2,500 to put toward their mobile technology units to help continue to expand their non-profit, Student Empowerment Program, an organization that seeks to close the educational technology gap.
Photography by Rob Carlin