Business students invited to enter the “Shark Tank”

NSU’s Economics and Finance Association (EFA) and the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship will host an information session on April 17 for their new Business Plan Competition, modeled after the popular ABC reality TV show “Shark Tank”.

In the competition, undergraduate and graduate business students, individuals or teams, will have the opportunity to submit their original ideas for products, smartphone applications, services and businesses. The EFA’s executive board members and a panel of Business School faculty will review the submissions and work one-on-one with competitors to improve their ideas.

The information session, scheduled from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. in room 3035 of the Business Center, will include a chance for students to meet project mentors, learn about the competition’s parameters and ask questions.

With help from the Business Plan Competition’s advisor, Charlie Harrington, lecturer of economics, and Dean Preston Jones, professional investors will be invited to the final event in September, in which students with the top 12 plans will pitch their ideas.

EFA President and graduate business student Evegny Munkov said this project required a lot of coordination, as it is one of the association’s largest endeavors.

“The competition is the first of its kind at NSU, and, therefore, a lot of work had to be done in order to make it available for students,” said Munkov. “We had to find faculty that would be available to collaborate with students. We had to go to businesses and people engaged in business to find investors, and a significant effort was made to develop the competition itself.”

Munkov, also an ambassador of the Graduate Business Student Association, strives to find ways to maintain a focus on professional and career-oriented activities and provide NSU business students with networking opportunities.

“The EFA executive board has always been looking for ways to enhance students’ knowledge, help them to develop new skills and leverage their career chances when they graduate,” said Munkov.

Edoardo Maggini, EFA vice president and graduate business student, is excited for the Business Plan Competition to give business students an opportunity to apply their business knowledge.

“We want to give students who have the skills, but have little time or money, the chance to find investors and take their ideas to the next level,” said Maggini.

According to Maggini, NSU’s version of “Shark Tank” will be highly competitive, similar to the popular TV show. On the show, a panel of wealthy and seasoned investors, nicknamed “sharks”, listen to offers made by aspiring entrepreneurs and invest in the ideas they find most lucrative.

Maggini said, “We love the format of the TV show and want it to feel just like that for students.”

There will be three rounds of elimination, and at the final event, students will have five minutes to speak to investors and a 15 minute question and answer session.

Professors will examine the quality and longevity of the submissions, and several practice sessions, informative meetings and lectures by guest speakers will also be included.

Business plans must be submitted by May 17, and on May 22, the EFA board will invite winners from this first round to meet with mentors.

Students without established business ideas are also welcome, according to the project’s manager and graduate business student James Mealing.

“We’ll implement a procedure to help students come up with ideas from the start,” said Mealing.

Interested participants can contact Mealing at for more information.

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