The local and campus community created a standing room only event in Founders Thursday at 7 p.m. for Wittenberg’s second annual Tiger Tank.
“Get the experience now,” Heath Queen, Coordinator for Engaged Learning, said.
According to Kevin Steidel, Assistant Professor of Practice, the event allows students a real opportunity to either start their own business, gather funding and/or network with different people and/or companies.
Queen said this year the panel was made up of alumni and local businesses, whereas last year there were only alumni on the panel.
This year’s panel was made up of Blake Shaffer from LWS Tax, Kim Frazier from the Dayton Entrepreneur Center and Kyle Barger, ’07, from Champion Trading Group.
“I think it’s Macolm Gladwell who said, ‘An entrepreneur is somebody who can jump off a cliff and build a parachute or a plane before he hits the bottom,’” Barger said. “Part of being a good entrepreneur is going down that path and knowing when you need to bail instead of staying too hung onto it.”
“The best entrepreneurs—the most successful entrepreneurs—figure out how to make money doing anything,” Shaffer said.
There were seven business ideas introduced this year including products, services and non-profits.
“It’s one way for students to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and present it to people with real world opportunities,” Queen said.
Sarah Wilky, ’22, presented her business Threads n’ Witt, a company which takes thrifted clothing and creates them into unique, modern and affordable clothing. Follow and shop the business’ Instagram @threadsnwitt.
Joshua Butler, ’21, presented last year to Tiger Tank with his idea and has since continued to connect with more retailers and expand his business, Donate Magic. Donate Magic is a form of fundraising similar to Amazon Smile; however, the business works with 120 retailers and donates 10 percent back to non-profit organizations.
Butler is currently working with Lesotho Nutrition Initiative on campus and wants help with becoming a limited liability company. Check out the Donate Magic website at https://www.donatemagic.com for more information.
Kamri-Beth Offutt, ’22, celebrated her birthday while she presented Alle Resturant, an allergy specific restaurant. She said the restaurant’s purpose is to give all people somewhere safe to go without fear of cross-contamination.
Mitchell Davis, ’22, presented Tiger Vac, a prototype similar to automatic vacuum cleaners, like Roomba, but for turf fields. Davis said there is a large market for this, and the machines purpose is to save people time and money.
Sam Bechtel, ’21, presented Shady Cooler, a thermal cooler for the beach. Bechtel said the cooler allows for several attachments for purchase including: an umbrella, Amazon Alexa, LED light connector and light bulb with a solar panel battery.
Kellon Norfleet, ’20, presented Life Tool, acompany that puts chips onto clothing items to track people—the purpose being to prevent people from going missing each year. Norfleet said eight million kids alone go missing every year.
Jack Hollinshead, ’21, Jack Siefert, ’21 and David Hamrick, ’21 presented My Inner Warrior, a non-profit for inner city baseball kids. Hollinshead said he started the organization when he was in high school when he found he wanted to give back to something he was passionate about.
My Inner Warrior said they donate new materials to inner city schools, give two scholarships a year and sponsor baseball camps. They work to recruit students who may not have the money by providing them with opportunities.
My Inner Warrior has two funding methods; either a flat donation or a certain amount of money is donated for each hit from a baseball team (Baldwin Wallace, Wittenberg University, Oberlin College or Mayfield High School) for the season. Check out their website https://www.myinnerwarrior.org for more information.
Queen said in the future he would like to keep more students in Tiger Tank; he’d like to create workshops for students to work on their ideas to continue to apply their knowledge, research and presentation.
Steidel said he would like to see more students and audience members next year.
If you’re considering Tiger Tank 2020, applications are due in October. Get your entrepreneurial gears turning.