Students Present Business Ideas at Spring Raider Tank Competition

April 05, 2017

Raider Tank GroupALLIANCE, Ohio — Several students were awarded for their outstanding business ideas and projects at the semi-annual Raider Tank competition at the University of Mount Union.

The Raider Tank competition is held each semester and is based off of the hit ABC show “Shark Tank.” It gives students the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, or “sharks,” made up of Mount Union alums or notable community business entrepreneurs.

This year, a number of student presentations were given to the panel of distinguished judges covering a wide variety of topics, including food industries, outdoor gear, computer science equipment and athletic applications.

First-place winner Sam Valenti ‘17, a marketing major of Hilliard, Ohio, delivered the winning pitch to the panel for his idea of Valenti’s Specialty Desserts. Second place was given to the team of Allie Bennett and Robbie Suffron. Bennett, a junior business management major of Carrollton, Ohio, and Suffron, a sophomore marketing major of Uniontown, Ohio, pitched their combined idea of MUCAW Makeovers, a local secondhand store for college students. Lastly, third place was awarded to Jordan Martin, a marketing and management double major of Mentor, Ohio, who presented her business idea of The Sorority Shop.

“It is not just about starting a business,” said Grant Bake ‘17, a marketing major who has presented at a few Raider Tanks himself. “The program is about solving problems in a way that is creative and relevant and giving the market what they can use to make life easier.”

“The Mount Union entrepreneurship minor is truly special, and I couldn’t be more excited about the direction it’s headed,” said Michael Sovak ‘18, a marketing and computer science major of Akron, Ohio. “I’m just grateful to be a part of it.”

Not only does this competition develop students’ problem solving abilities, but it also develops other skills necessary for business.

“One benefit is the practice of presenting your idea in front of business people and other students,” Bake said. “Another benefit is the ability to organize your thoughts and think on your feet when you have to answer questions from judges.” 

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