Senior Wins Shark Tank | Judson University Christian College
Judson Senior Wins Shark Tank

(ELGIN, IL – November 16, 2018) Judson University’s fifth Judson Shark Tank event was packed with great music and great ideas.

Emceed by Jen Dotson, a senior communications major, and watched by more than 200 students and guests, the two-hour event included five student competitor groups that courageously took to the Herrick Chapel stage. Each contestant pitched their ideas in front of hard-nosed judges representing various facets of business.

Tom FenskeThe judges included Kevin Krak, president and CEO of Gallant Building Solutions; 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 Patricia Szpekowski, president of PR Strategies and Communications in Elgin.

In the end, senior Tom Fenske of Crystal Lake, Ill., won the $1,000 first-place prize and the $100 Fan Favorite prize for “Package Protector,” a device to receive packages that is disguised as outdoor furniture as a safeguard for deliveries. At one point, Fenske donned a ski-mask to illustrate the risks associated with thieves stealing packages that are delivered to the doorstep and left unattended for a day or two.

Other winners of the night included senior Nathanael DeLong of Mendota, Ill., who won the $500 second-place prize for his idea for MicroPHONE, an app where you can speak or sing into your phone and the sound will come out via Bluetooth speakers to create a PA system. Freshmen Joey Pepper and Andrew Lewis of Elgin, Ill., took home third-place honors and $250 for their Missionary Sports program to train children from all around the world to play sports and learn about culture.

The night’s contestants also included junior Riley Rowan of Algonquin, Ill., and sophomore Sean Doherty of Genoa, Ill., who created a Story Time app, and senior Hannah McDowell and Liz Gagnon’s rentable garage space called Garage 622.

“I am always amazed at what the students pull together for the competition itself. However, it is the other “wins” that happen along the way that really warm my heart. It is delightful to see parents coming out to support their children, internship opportunities enacted, contestants supporting each other before and after their pitch and many other wins too numerous to name,” said Traditional Business Program Chair Dr. Michelle Kilbourne, who co-chaired the Judson Shark Tank event with Business Professor Dr. Joyce Shotick.

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