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Fairfield University’s StartUp Entrepreneurship Competition

The annual Shark Tank-style competition will see four teams compete in front of a panel of investors for seed money.

From Fairfield UniversityMark your calendar for Thursday, April 25 at 6 p.m. for Fairfield University’s StartUp Showcase, the annual Shark Tank-style entrepreneurship competition, where select teams of student entrepreneurs will make their business pitches to a panel of investors for seed money to launch their businesses.

In 2018, over $50,000 in funding was awarded before a live audience of 350, and over 1,600 people viewed the Showcase online via Facebook Live. Watch the 2018 recap video here.

The student teams that are competing this year include an urban agriculture solution, a digital magazine designed to empower women, a motion control device for independent filmmakers, and a 3D printing solution.

AutoDolly is an affordable motion control device for independent filmmakers on a budget. It provides camera movements with minimal pre-programming.

SheIsArt is a digital magazine that seeks to uplift and unify women of color by demonstrating that every woman is art and has a compelling story.

Sketch2Market is a one-stop-shop for getting your product ready to market. Come with a sketch and leave with a finished, 3D-printed product and a new business partner.

Urban Harvest is an urban agriculture solution that provides fresh produce year-round to areas that do not have access to national grocery chains.

In addition to the teams competing in the Showcase, 2018 Startup Showcase competitor Diandre Clarke ’18 will return to Fairfield to give an update on her business, Belle. Belle is a self-sustaining organization that delivers mentoring programs to help young women build a personal support system through workshops, mentorship, and counseling to strengthen their self-esteem. This one-woman team inspired the investor panel and audience last year with her passion and drive to create change and empower local communities.

“The StartUp Showcase program shows our students’ true dedication to entrepreneurship and innovative spirit,” said Zhang Li, DBA, dean of the Dolan School. “The students take what they have learned from our nationally ranked programs and create businesses that are tangible. I have no doubt that these students will make lasting impacts in their communities.”

To qualify for a spot in the StartUp Showcase, students take part in several workshops and events designed to help them develop their business idea. Events include an elevator pitch contest and business model workshop where students form teams, recruit mentors, and further develop their business plans.

The StartUp Showcase is free and open to the public. Register here to reserve your seat at the Quick Center – doors open at 6 p.m., the Showcase starts at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Chris Huntley, StartUp program director and associate professor of information systems and operations management, at chuntley@fairfield.edu.

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