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Budding inventor and 'Shark Tank' winner proves he means business

Mar 24, 2014


Michael Devore is the mastermind behind the winning business plan at Claflin’s inaugural Entrepreneurship “Shark Tank” Business Competition.

 

By PRINCESS WILLIAMS
The Panther 

“That was a stupid move. You should play ball to get to college.”

Michael Devore recalls his peers saying just that after he revealed that he no longer wanted to play basketball for Wade Hampton High School.

Devore was born and raised by a single mother in the Lowcountry town of Hampton. In a place where most young African-American males are expected to succeed through the route of athletics, Devore chose to be an exception.

“I told people I didn’t want to play basketball. I wanted to focus on my academics.” A lot of people did not support that decision.

But by Devore’s senior year of high school, he had earned a full scholarship to Claflin University for his outstanding academics.

The 20-year-old budding inventor and entrepreneur is a business administration major with a minor in mass communications. He has created his own brand, known as “Visionary Mike.”

Just a few of his achievements are: member of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College, the first student from Claflin to receive the Institute for Responsible Citizenship Scholarship and member of the Sigma Nu Tau Entrepreneurship Honor Society.

Devore is also the mastermind behind the winning business plan at Claflin’s inaugural Entrepreneurship “Shark Tank” Business Competition.

Students were to assemble in teams of 2-4. The purpose of the competition was to promote collaborations and showcase the talent Claflin has.

Devore’s team members were management major Brandolyn Mack, chemistry major Maame Addo and accounting major Linh Tong.

The title of their plan was “InstaPrintz.”

“It allows you to print anywhere at any time using smart phones without the need of a costly printer. The software component of InstaPrintz has a unique advertising feature for local businesses, international businesses and universities that can allow 100 percent of their advertisements to be seen by their targeted customers,” Devore said.

“Businesses lose millions of their advertisement investments down the drain each year through television and radio commercials because their targeted consumers can change the station or channel and not see your advertisement,” he said.

Devore came across the idea on a random day while researching technology.

“I created this business plan about a year ago,” he said. “This competition gave me the opportunity to showcase it.”

The InstaPrintz team won a grand prize of $5,000.

“We are definitely looking forward to competing in more business competitions in the future.”

The team is currently waiting on a response from Rice University about competing for a million-dollar prize on April 10.

“I love the positivity that I’m receiving from the students on campus, and all the support that I’m receiving from my friends and teachers,” Devore said.

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