The Quaker Tank debuted on April 24, and, despite an error in the publicity, the event had a great turnout.
The night started with a welcoming commentary by Sue Lucas, an assistant professor of marketing who served as the evening’s moderator. Lucas explained the rules, introduced the judges, and brought out the contestants.
The judges included: Brad Heys, Johnathan C. Mckay, Trevor Shoemaker, Paula Stewart, and Sherry Weller.
Ryan Wiemken was the first student to pitch his idea. His idea was for a family dairy farm he plans to name “Wiemken Dairy Farm.” Wiemken went on to explain how herding cows is hard work with little to no breaks, but he is more than willing to do all the work necessary to make his dream a reality.
“Cow herding has hit rock bottom, but it’s predicted to come back up,” stated Wiemken.
Kaleb Harp impressed judges by pitching an idea for “Harp Videography,” a company in which he plans to use a drone to capture and sell unique footage of homes on the market to realtors for unique marketing opportunities.
“Only 9 percent of realtors are currently using videography,” said Harp in his business pitch.
Adrianna Hibbard presented her business, “Tall Pines.” She asked for $750 in funding to help her purchase a thermal camera to pinpoint hot spots on horses she massages. She described her work week—an average of 8 hours a day, 7 days a week—and the thermal camera will increase her efficiency.
Next to present was James Stobaugh who introduced to the judges a sample taste test of meats from Sun Devil Meat Co. The recipe he uses to make his smoked meats is one that has taken over twenty years to perfect. He explained his product was of the finest quality because it is local and never frozen. Stobaugh asked for funding to help him purchase equipment.
Jared Shoemaker presented an idea to start a subscription-based stock photo company and was looking for money to set up a website and subsequent promotions on social media.
“I currently have 8,000 pictures to upload, and plan to put new catalogs on there monthly,” Shoemaker said to answer a judge’s question.
Daniel Kappelin presented his idea for “Nexus Connections,” an e-sports company. The judges seemed to struggle with the concept, as did the audience.
Penultimately was Haley Voehringer of “HV Custom Leather.” Voehringer makes handmade, custom leather items and showcased some for the judges. Voehringer did all the work herself and disclosed to making over $1,000 in sales over winter break alone.
“I’m asking from you guys to help me grow and expand my business. I want to put money towards a website,” said Voehringer after explaining that most of her business transactions happen online.
To end the presentations was Trent Brown. He spoke about “Content Co.,” a subscription-based photography service targeted towards influencers who need to have daily, up-to-date content to post on platforms such as Instagram.
“It’s almost like a social spiderweb because of their social media use,” Brown said to answer a question regarding why he would target influencers specifically.
The judges deliberated during the event’s intermission. When the audience returned, they gave critiques to each contestant and finally announced how they awarded their prizes. Harp was awarded a total of $375, Hibbard was awarded $125, and Voehringer went home with the most substantial award of $750.
“I think it’s a great competition. Let’s continue it next year—it’s a great hands-on learning experience,” stated Randy Sarvis, the director of public relations for Wilmington College.