Fairfield University showcases startups in annual Shark Tank-style competition

Pictured: Fairfield University student teams who will pitch their ideas to investors at the annual StartUp Showcase on April 26; (Credit: Kate Eisemann)

NORWALK, Conn. – This is a press release, presented in a slightly altered format from which it was sent:


Annual Entrepreneurship Competition Student Teams Announced for Fairfield University StartUp Showcase


The annual Shark Tank-style competition will see four teams compete in front of a panel of investors for seed money. Teams include an inspirational clothing line, electric motorbike, business card app, and soil sampling robotic rover.


FAIRFIELD, Conn. (February 12, 2018) —Each fall, students who make the cut to participate in Fairfield University’s StartUp Showcase, the annual Shark Tank-style entrepreneurship competition, compete in front of a panel of investors, and a live audience, for real money to get their business off the ground. This year, on April 26, the student teams include a clothing line, an electric motorbike, a business card app, and a soil sampling robotic rover.

Belle’s Community is an inspirational clothing line that aims to build a community to empower female adolescents. Belle’s Community is a B Corporation, a for-profit business dedicated to social issues.

EZ E-Bikes is a transportation company designed to alleviate the stress of finding and maintaining transportation for college students through assistive electric motorbikes, which are also pedal operated and can collapse for easy storage.

FlyCard aims to replace paper business cards with an app that will allow people to share their business cards digitally from their mobile devices.

Land Maverick is a robotic rover designed to conduct small-scale, accurate, and fast soil sampling for the agricultural industry.

This year two alternate teams who pitched in the qualifier round will join the Showcase teams over the next few months to further develop their business plans during weekly workshops. The two companies are Wanderless, a grocery shopping app, and Bliss, a company that aims to help hospital patients manage pain through technology.

“The StartUp Showcase has become a signature event for the Dolan School of Business,” said Mark Ligas, PhD, interim dean of the Dolan School. “It truly exhibits the caliber and dedication of our students and faculty as they work together to bring innovative ideas to fruition.”

In order to qualify for a spot in the StartUp Showcase, students take part in several workshops and events designed to help them develop their business ideas. Events include the Elevator Pitch Contest and the Business Model Workshop where students form teams, recruit mentors, and further develop their business plans. In the workshops, students learn all aspects of further refining their business plans and hear from relevant guest speakers. New this year, Brian Harniman ’94, co-founder and managing director of Brand New Matter, who has over 18 years of online commerce experience driving traffic and transactions to websites, will serve as a StartUp coach for the teams through weekly one-on-one meetings via Skype.

After participating in StartUp events during the fall semester, and going through the qualifier round in December, the teams with the best pitches advance to the Showcase in April where they’ll compete live in front of a live audience and investor panel of alumni and local business professionals for seed money to start their businesses.

The StartUp Showcase on April 26 is free and open to the public. Register here to reserve your seat. For more information, contact Chris Huntley, StartUp program director and associate professor of information systems at operations management, at [email protected]

This press release was posted as a public service. A press release is a written announcement submitted to news organizations to publicize an event or activity, a milestone or a point of view. NancyOnNorwalk has not researched the assertions made and takes no responsibility for the content.

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