Star Tank offers students cash prizes
By Ashlee Buhler
LCC student entrepreneurs will dive into the “Star Tank” on Thursday, March 29 for a shot at winning $1,000.
The annual competition, hosted by the LCC American Marketing Association, will be held in the west campus auditorium from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The event allows students to present a business idea to a panel of judges. The hope is that they will win some cash to turn their idea into a reality.
“The students will have five minutes to present their business idea and some information about the product or service that they’re looking at having,” said Bill Motz, co-adviser of the AMA. “Have they thought about the pricing of that particular product? How do they plan to promote it?
“We’re basically following a marketing plan which is very similar to a business plan that a banker would look for with somebody who actually wanted to start their business.”
The deadline for students to enter the “Star Tank” is Monday, March 19.
While visuals are not required, they are urged in order to help capture the student’s business idea to its full extent.
“We encourage them to have visuals,” Motz said. “They only have five minutes so sometimes the picture is worth a lot of words. However, it’s not required. We’ve had some students who didn’t have visuals and it has never hurt them.”
During the competition the five-judge panel will take notes, ask the students questions and then fill out a score card. After all the presentations are complete, the judges will come together to discuss who should win the $1,000 top prize. There will be smaller cash prizes for other participants as well.
Motz said seeing the passion behind each presentation is his favorite part of the “Star Tank.”
“I’m always impressed with how prepared they are and how they really got some passion for their business idea,” he said. “To me, I think that’s the most fun part of it. The students are taking some of the things they learned in our business classes and actually applying it to the real world.”
AMA President Joe Strother encouraged students who are interested in starting a business to take part in the event to gain experience.
“It allows student entrepreneurs with an idea for a new business the opportunity to get it kick-started with not only $1,000 cash prize for the winner, but also the invaluable advice from the panel of judges,” he said. “Our panel of judges is made up of various business leaders from the greater Lansing area to give all of our participant’s ideas on how they can improve their startup.”
Bruce Terry, a student intern in the foundation office, presented an idea for a photography company during last year’s competition. He shared his best advice for the students who plan to enter this year.
“My advice to students would be to prepare a five minute pitch, meaning make the whole five minutes they give you last,” Terry said. “Bring your best idea and present it like you already own the business. Be compassionate about your idea and really talk about the logical and creative points that make your idea worth doing.”
To register, or for more information, contact Bill Motz at email@example.com or (517) 483-1540.