Wright Venture, an entrepreneurial opportunity for students, expects to increase its award from last year’s amount of $5,000.
Wright Venture is modeled after “Shark Tank,” an ABC-TV reality competition series that features aspiring entrepreneurs making business presentations to a panel of potential investors.
“As a result of more support from the business community we know that the award will increase,” said Donerik Black, regional director at the Small Business Development Center in the Raj Soin College of Business. “The goal is to be able to provide second and third place start up capital as well.”
The goal of Wright Venture, started by Wright State’s Raj Soin College of Business, is to create a real-life, lasting experience that will be identical to an actual business startup. This experience includes networking, mentorship, creative idea development, product design, service creation, financial management, business planning and marketing skills, offered free to students by Wright State faculty and staff and local and regional sponsors.
Applicants must submit an online application and 1-minute video by Monday Dec. 5, by midnight. Applications can be submitted online. Soin Trading Center located in room 167 of Rike Hall, is available to assist with video applications.
“I just want students to know that this is a great opportunity for anyone who has ever thought about owning their own business,” said Black. “They have nothing to lose and $5,000 to gain.”
There will be three workshops conducted for applicants. Workshops include writing a business plan, financial projections and pitching the idea.
“Wright Venture gave me what I needed to gather the resources and the knowledge to set my company’s foundation,” said Adam Wik, the 2016 winner of Wright Venture and current marketing coordinator for the Raj Soin College of Business. “Wright Venture connected me with specialized knowledge, resources and leaders in the community who knew exactly how to get my game off the drawing board and into production.”
Wik, who almost didn’t apply for the competition, created a game called Galatune. He said the Wright Venture judges, who included CEOs and presidents, were generous with their time and continue to offer him free business advice.
He created a campaign that fully funded his first game in August. He is running the game for mass production and taking preorder sales at galatune.com/store. He also plans to expand his game and create a comic book series.
The idea of Wright Venture was suggested by Earl Gregorich, former director of Wright State’s Small Business Development Center. Initial funding was provided by the James Family Student Entrepreneurship Program and was matched by the college and Wright State Foundation.
Wik advises students that the amount of time and work needed for the competition is student-friendly and manageable.
“This isn’t a cut-throat competition where only the strong survive. Instead it’s a collaborative learning program from start to finish,” he said. “You walk in with just the spark of an idea, and they connect you with incredible professionals from the community who help you transform that idea into a viable business plan. Even the students who don’t win the competition walk out of it with strong enough business plans to actually enter the marketplace. … Win or lose you’ll definitely learn great business development skills that you can take further throughout your career.”
He also gained confidence by learning to approach business leaders and mentors for advice.
Wik invites students to his Galatune Holiday Game Night Thursday Dec 8, from 6 p.m. to midnight in the ReyRey Cafe in Rike Hall.