April Fools Day was no day to fool around for the participants of Clark Tank Business Plan Bootcamp! On the contrary, fourteen Clark University students participated in a two-day, Friday and Saturday, intense business plan development boot camp with instructor Shane Scott from Entrenuity and put their skills to the test. The participants ranged from graduate students to first-years, and athletes to art majors, but all had business development on their minds!
After completing the weekend boot camp, students that felt they developed a strong pitch presented to a panel of alumni judges on April 8th, at the Clark Tank Business Plan Competition Pitch. Four impressive alumni – Lawrence Norman, ’94, ’95, Christina Bai, Tallis Salamatian ’12, and Robert Delmastro ’86 were in attendance to give the participants feedback and to encourage continued entrepreneurial efforts. After a casual networking lunch between participants and judges in Tilton Hall, six participants pitched their ideas.
After the judge’s deliberations, Clarissa Ko ’25 came out on top and won first place with her Scavenger Venture business plan pitch. Martina Villanueva ’23 came in second with her plan for Magpies Collect. Awards were announced for $500 and $250 respectively. An extra thrill and surprise came at the end when alumna Christian Bai matched the awards!
The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program‘s wildly popular Clark Tank has grown this year, adding the boot camp and business plan competition to the list of activities to encourage entrepreneurial students to up their game. The initial introduction to Entrenuity came from Dr. Nadia Ward, Executive Director of the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise. Dr. Ward’s work with three students, Biko Gayman, Andy Acevedo, and Gralen Vereen, who spent a few days in Chicago participating in other Entrenuity events, inspired the thought that this type of event would be an exciting activity to bring to Clark.
After the initial introduction, the concept of the boot camp to enhance the outcome of the Clark Tank Business Plan Competition started taking shape. Laura Burgess, Assistant Dean of the School of Management, encouraged several graduate students to join the event – Idriss Laouali Abdou, Vijay Yadav, Tsanta Rakotoarisoa, Anuj Ursal, and Rosy Shrestha, all graduate students of SOM participated in the weekend boot camp. The boot camp group was then rounded out with six undergraduates – Sasha Cohen ’25, Henry Reyes ’24, Botan Ali ’22, Melanie Adams ’22, Clarissa Ko ’25, and Martina Villanueva ’23. All coming together in a day of business plan pitches on April 8th.
The Clark Tank 2022 – Venture Development, App Design Challenge, and the Business Plan Pitch Competition – events were a tremendous success. Please follow the E&I Program on our socials – LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram to keep up with the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program’s Clark Tank 2022-2023 events and other activities.
As always, the faculty and staff at SOM and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program are looking for ways to encourage students to develop their entrepreneurial mindset on Clark’s campus. If you are Clark alumni and looking for a way to give back, consider working with the ever-growing and thriving E&I Program. Please reach out to Teresa Quinn at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts and ideas. She would love to hear from you.
photo credit: Vijay Yadav
by Teresa Quinn, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program Manager