More than 650 young entrepreneurs making up 70-plus teams were recently put to the test at Bloomsburg University’s third annual Husky Dog Pound — a Shark Tank-inspired business pitch competition hosted by the Zeigler College of Business, with $20,000 in prizes. The competition, held March 28t on campus, included teams from Bloomsburg University as well as high schools from across Pennsylvania. The Chamber has supported the event each year to encourage entrepreneurship and connect students with local business people.
Students had just a few minutes to present their business ideas, followed by Q&A from a panel of judges. Lance Diehl, president of First Columbia Bank & Trust, was among the three-person panel judging the college finalists. A number of Chamber representatives served as judges for the high school competition, including board members Holly Morrison (Central Susquehanna Community Foundation), Denise Stone (Key Partners Realty), Sharon Wilkin (CSS Industries), and Karen Wood (Service 1st Federal Credit Union), as well as Jeff Emanuel, Foundation director, and Fred Gaffney, Chamber president.
Top finishing teams received cash prizes and the top five college teams were also offered complimentary one-year memberships in the Chamber to encourage them to connect with local businesspeople. “While the Chamber’s primary purpose is to support members, it’s also important that we encourage new business development,” says Gaffney. “We hope that, by interacting with other members, the students can make connections to bring their ideas to fruition.”