Tiger Tank competitors make their pitch at RIT on April 15

Winners also earn scholarships to attend graduate studies at Saunders College of Business




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Teams of student entrepreneurs will have the chance to pitch their business ideas to win $4,750 in cash prizes and scholarships to attend graduate studies at Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology. Tiger Tank will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, at Ingle Auditorium, in RIT’s Student Alumni Union.

Hosted by the Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Tiger Tank is modeled on ABC-TV’s Shark Tank. More than 40 teams applied for the competition, but only five will have the opportunity to convince Rochester-area investors to part with their hard-earned advice and give participants a thumbs-up to launch their own products or businesses.

The team finalists include:

  • 3D-for-Me seeks to harness the power of the Internet to create a network of independent 3D printers;
  • SmartTube is a product/service that will offer a sustainable recycled vacuum tube on demand service to use in sound systems and high-power radio base stations;
  • Bounce is an inflatable cushion designed to reduce injury from patient falls—most likely acting as a hip guard;
  • LiftForce is motion-capture device and software that analyzes the movements of weightlifters and provides direct, real-time feedback on performance;
  • Breezyon face protective device, produced by Easylife Product LLC, is a scarf accessory using the same concept of technology in surgical masks by doctors.

Richard DeMartino, endowed chair and director of the Simone Center and associate professor in Saunders, said the proposals are judged on their uniqueness, feasibility and ability to impact people. “The RIT Tiger Tank focuses on students’ early stage ideas, unlike Shark Tank where people pitch more mature ideas,” DeMartino explained. “This event is a way of building an entrepreneurial innovation spirit, but also helps us find ideas out there that we never knew existed.”

Judges for Tiger Tank are: K. Bradley Paxton, chairman and co-founder of ADI LLC; Dennis DeLeo, founding partner of Trillium Group; and Cindy Cooper, entrepreneur.

For information, go to https://www.rit.edu/research/simonecenter/ or contact Rupa Thind at rupa.thind@rit.edu or 585-475-7487. For details on the Tiger Tank Challenge scholarship contest rules, go to http://saunders.rit.edu/ttc.