Five teams of student entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas and won a total of $5,750 in cash at Tiger Tank, an RIT program modeled on ABC-TV’s Shark Tank. Tiger Tank, hosted by Saunders College of Business, was a featured event at the Albert J. Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship during Imagine RIT.
Their mission of the event was to convince Rochester-area investors to part with their hard-earned advice and give participants a thumbs-up to launch their own businesses or products.
Precision Watercraft Enterprises, a proposed manufacturer of green economical, high-end stand up jet skis, earned first place and $3,000. Team members are fourth-year mechanical engineering students Jordan Darling from Oswego, N.Y., and Michael Buffalin from Mission Viejo, Calif.
According to Richard DeMartino, endowed chair and director of the Simone Center and associate professor in Saunders, the proposals are judged on their uniqueness, feasibility and ability to impact people. “The RIT Tiger Tank is a unique program and the point is to encourage good ideas and show our student entrepreneurs the path to commercialization,” DeMartino said.
Taking second place was Fuz (pronounced Fuze), an app that literally spells “fun”—where families and friends can fuse (and add to) a recorded video together. Team members Vladimir Perez, Donald Bradley, Kevin Hill, Abdoulaye Diaw and Christopher Norman, earned $1,250 to further develop their product.
Judges for Tiger Tank were: Cameron Dunlap, president, Specialty Communications Inc.; William Prentice, president, Prentice Wealth Management; Cheryl Nelan, president, CMIT Solutions of Monroe; and David Rusin, entrepreneur.