'Shark Tank' winner is Students in Demand - (NoTrek)
By: THALIA BUTTS
Feb 08, 2020
The team taking home the grand prize was Students in Demand - (NoTrek), led by Emmanuel Gyeke Atta-Penkra and Shantal Ewell, international students from Ghana and Jamaica respectively (Photo special to The Panther)
The Claflin School of Business hosted the 7th Annual Business Plan Competition in the Grace Thomas Kennedy Auditorium on Feb. 7.
Developed in 2014, the competition is loosely modeled after the ABC television show "Shark Tank." Claflin was one of the first schools in South Carolina to create a business plan competition resulting in market-ready products.
With participants from all classifications and majors, the competition featured six teams and six prizes ranging from an honorable mention certificate to a grand prize of $6,000.
The team taking home the grand prize was Students in Demand - (NoTrek), led by Emmanuel Gyeke Atta-Penkra and Shantal Ewell, international students from Ghana and Jamaica respectively, toting an “online platform that connects thousands of students and others to affordable and reliable transportation services.” The platform comes amid the surge in independent students offering rides to local destinations for money.
The array of judges included Claflin alumni Michael DeVore, Marcus Fogle, and Jim Johnson; Orangeburg native Rachelle Jamerson-Holmes; and Judge Pandora Jones-Glover.
The $3,000 prize was won by Teaching 2 Company, led by Fredrick Uy ad Ananya Gupta with the purpose of increasing students’ enrollment through the use of technology and innovation.
The $1,500 prize was won by CUTextbooks, led by Keneisha Wiggan and Amarachi Kalu-Onuma.
The $1,000 prize was won by Afro-Scooters Company, led by Agha Oko MacVincent and Darkon Hudson.
The $500 prize was won by Serenity, led by Alexis Fogle and Ay’Kira Dillard.
The certificate was won by Nano Soul, led by Ashton Knowles and Jesus Morel.
In the first competition under Dr. Nicholas Hill’s leadership as the dean of the School of Business, the large turnout and riveting pitches from the participants impressed the crowd, judges and professors in attendance.