Shark Tank Winner Michael Ford | Judson University Christian College
Judson University Senior Wins Annual Shark Tank Event 

Shark Tank Winner 3(ELGIN, IL – November 22, 2019) Judson University’s sixth Judson Shark Tank event held November 21 in Herrick Chapel was energized by great ideas for new products and services by the contestants.

Emceed by John Asworth, a senior graphic arts major and former winner of the Shark Tank event, was watched by approximately 200 students and guests. The two-hour event included five student business leaders pitched their ideas in front of discerning judges representing various facets of business.

The judges included Dan Marquardt, co-owner of Marquardt Buick-GMC in Barrington and board of director’s member for the Chicago Automobile Trade Association; Jennifer Kendzior, recruiter for Thrivent Financial and sponsor of the contest prizes; and Judson Alumnus Tim Schofield, owner of Your Tech Simplified.

In the end, senior Michael Ford of Rockford, Ill., won the $1,000 first-place prize for “Buoy Buddy,” a floatation device for fishing poles that would prevent poles from sinking if they go overboard. Ford emphasized that this device would help prevent pollution in waterways and possible harm to animals. This add on product could work on several types of fishing poles.

Other winners of the night included senior Riley Rowan of Algonquin, Ill., who won the $500 second-place prize for his idea for “Hover My Schedule,” an app that creates class schedules for college students that weighs the student’s schedule, classes available, projected graduation date and degree of class difficulty together before suggesting a schedule. Senior Teesean Patterson of Toledo, Ohio, took home third-place honors of $250 and the Fan Favorite prize for his “Electron Stability” for a new kind of athletic sock that includes an orthopedic ankle brace in the sock to reduce the risk of sprain for athletes.

The night’s contestants included senior Michael Mikhail of Elgin, who created the “Amazon Café,” which combined a coffee shop with an Amazon delivery space, and freshman Moses Gonzales of Riverside, Calif., who sported a poncho while describing “Moe’s Tacos,” a taco delivery service that would cater to businesses, campuses and events. A sixth contestant, Diamond Holmes, was forced to withdraw for health reasons but hopes to participate in next year’s event.

“Each year the ideas and implementation plans are outstanding. This year’s Shark Tank was a very competitive entrepreneurial event. The students’ all identified a specific customer need, offered a product to fulfill that need, and then provided the marketing and financial plans for that business to be successful. But the greatest success was their own experience to prepare and present. The students were able to demonstrate their competencies of business principles to the Judson and Elgin communities,” said Traditional Business Program Chair Dr. Joyce Shotick.

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