FHU Business Students Win Top Two Prizes at 'Shark Tank' Competition

APRIL 29, 2013

Freed-Hardeman University business students took home the top two prizes in a student entrepreneur “Shark Tank” competition hosted by the Entrepreneur Development Center of Southwest Tennessee, Thursday, April 25. The event was held on the campus of the University of Memphis at Lambuth.

The top prize of $500 went to an FHU trio who pitched ThriftThrills, a campus-focused online marketplace where students could buy and sell. The team was comprised of Timothy Thompson II, Aubrey Stone and Austen Fox. Thompson said, “In a way, it would be a Craigslist for colleges.”

Second place and $350 went to the team of Daniel Gravett, Tyler Naes and Fernanda Ferreira who presented an idea for Your Favorite Cookie Company. The premium cookie bakery would target corporate and organizational events. Their presentation included samples of the cookies.

The students are enrolled in an entrepreneurship class taught by Dr. Jason Brashier. The course teaches students how to plan and execute a business start-up. They were required to develop business plans for business ideas generated by the students. “This type of exercise is a regular part of the course curriculum, but incorporating it into the pitch competition was even more beneficial for the students,” Brashier said.

A panel of experts, including Carl Kirkland, founder of Kirkland’s, judged the students’ presentations. “Their hard work on the project and the training and guidance they had received were immediately validated when they received feedback from the panel. I am very proud of the students who did so well year,” Brashier said.

Dr. Mark Steiner, dean of the FHU School of Business, said, “An excellent curriculum combined with wonderful talent provides yet another example of how we are successfully pursuing our vision of taking business principles and applying them in real world settings.”