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Spark Bowl “Shark Tank” like competition comes to DelVal University


Five contestants will compete for thousands of dollars in funding to help move their ideas forward at a “Shark-Tank”-like competition at Delaware Valley University at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11.

The Spark Bowl competition will be a public, community event, and guests do not need to register in advance. Attendees will have a chance to watch the top contestants pitch their ideas in the University’s Life Sciences Building auditorium in Doylestown.

DelVal’s Department of Business and Information Management is partnering with the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce to host Spark Bowl for the first time this year.

Spark Bowl will be an annual competition for entrepreneurs, innovative businesses and nonprofit organizations. Teams will address social, consumer or business-oriented challenges in and around Bucks County.

As part of DelVal’s experiential learning program, DelVal student teams are working with the final contestants to prepare for the competition under the guidance of DelVal faculty. The students are meeting with the contestants leading up to the competition to provide support and ideas as contestants prepare to make their pitches.

The first-place award will be $13,500 in funding. Additional prizes will be awarded to the second- and third-place teams, as well as the top student teams. Contestants will be judged by experienced investors from the surrounding community.

Entrepreneurs, startups and nonprofit organizations were invited to apply to participate and, from the applicants, the judges selected five finalists to pitch to the team of “Spark Judges” on Dec. 11. The finalists represent areas of business related to biomanufacturing services, 3D printing technology, cosmetics, digital applications and co-working spaces.

“Our business students have been working alongside the finalists as they prepare to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, and compete for some substantial monetary prizes to fund these ideas,” said Dr. Tanya Casas, dean of the university’s School of Business and Humanities.

“Helping contestants prepare to make their pitches for this competition is a way for our students to apply what they’re learning in class while being of service to their community.”

The judges will be local entrepreneurs who have a high degree of success in the business world, reported William Schutt, a judge and event organizer, and Dr. Vail Garvin, CEO of the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce.

“The board of the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce is very proud to be working with Delaware Valley University on Spark Bowl, a brand new, innovative competition,” said Garvin.

Spark Bowl awards for Spark Bowl Contestants are: first prize, $13,500; second prize, $6,750; and third prize, $2,250. Spark Bowl Student Team prizes are: first prize $3,000; second prize $2,000; and third prize $1,000.