For our pilot college edition, 10 college teams submitted 90 second elevator pitches along with a business plan to the sharks. They also attended workshops and mentoring sessions. The top six teams were chosen to compete in the final pitch competition.

Each final pitch had four minutes to present their business idea followed by seven minutes of questions from our Sharks. Once all six teams presented, the Sharks deliberated off screen. There were no designated places for the college edition—sharks were able to invest up to $10,000 to each team depending on their interest in doing so.  

In total, $28,500 was invested by the Sharks.

Ripple earned the top investment ever on Stark Tank of $10,000 along with the opportunity to present business pitch to the Executive Board of Directors for Stark Economic Development Board in June. 

"When friends and family ask what I am doing tonight or this coming weekend, my typical response is 'building wells in Africa.' They usually laugh and proceed to ask again with the comment, 'No seriously, what are you doing?' and then with more excitement, I proceed to tell them about the awe inspiring project that we are starting at Ripple." - Ripple Website

Ripple bottles are 18/8 stainless steel, wide mouth bottles that are of comparable quality to Hydroflask and Yeti. Each bottle comes with a straw lid and is top-rack dishwasher safe. The bottles keep liquids hot for up to 12 hours and cold for up to 24 hours. When you purchase a Ripple water bottle, you are purchasing a luxury water bottle that stands for change, kindness, and love for one another. For every 2,000 Ripple water bottles sold, Ripple partners with Water Wells For Africa in order to create sustainable wells that the communities in a developing country will learn how to maintain and use for years to come.

You can see a recording of the event including Ripple's pitch HERE.

In addition to Ripple, Courtesy Cups took home a $7,500 investment and will join Ripple to present business pitch to the Executive Board of Directors for Stark Economic Development Board in June.

Ecoflys took home a $5,000 investment and the sharks were so impressed with the level of business pitches that they awarded the three non-placing teams $2,000 each to advance their ideas: Snap Sheer, The Solution, and Makers of the Horizon.



2021 Stark Tank Sharks:

Ken Brott - President at KDB Services

Mark Fedor - CEO Morgan Industries

Dominic Bagnoli - Executive Chairman, Board of Directors at US Acute Care Solutions

Sue Grabowski - CEO – Desidara 

BIll Morgenstern - Vistage Chair at Vistage Worldwide, Inc.


 Program Summary

Stark Tank is a collaboration effort from Strengthening Stark, and successful entrepreneurs represented by our sharks. Our collective goal is to encourage entrepreneurship in our students at the middle school, high school, and—new for 2021—college levels. Stark Education Partnership, local school districts, Stark County Educational Service Center, 

Young entrepreneurs can check out for more information on getting involved next year. We will keep it up to date as we get closer to the 2021-2022 school year. We hope to hold in person events for 2022 and increase our students’ exposure to local entrepreneurs and mentorship.