LAS CRUCES – Arrowhead Center, the entrepreneurship and innovation hub at New Mexico State University, will host its fourth Aggie Shark Tank event from 4–6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, at the NMSU Music Center’s Atkinson Recital Hall during NMSU’s weeklong homecoming celebration. Aggie Shark Tank is free to attend and registration is available online at sharktank.nmsu.edu. A reception will follow the event.
Aggie Shark Tank is based on the popular “Shark Tank” television show, and offers entrepreneurs working with Arrowhead Center’s student business accelerator, Studio G, a chance to pitch their businesses to local business leaders for possible investment.
The school of Las Cruces “Sharks” includes chile farmer and agribusiness leader Dino Cervantes, real estate developer Mickey Clute, Mesilla Valley Transportation owner Royal Jones, and Sisbarro Dealerships owner Lou Sisbarro. Special guest Shark at this year’s event will be Arrowhead Center Investor-in-Residence Beto Pallares, managing director and co-founder of Cowork Oasis, an innovation community for El Paso entrepreneurs.
Participants will be pitching a wide range of business ideas from liquid organic fertilizers to mobile science labs.
The participants will compete for a $1,000 Crowd Favorite prize, selected by the audience, in addition to the possibility of an investment from one or more of the Sharks. Student entrepreneurs raised more than $125,000 at the first three Aggie Shark Tank events.
At last fall’s Aggie Shark Tank event, Studio G client Carlos Murguia’s KoolKat roof coating technology won the $1,000 Crowd Favorite prize, voted on immediately following the presentations by a crowd of 200 guests. Murugia said after the event that one of the most valuable things he gained was the experience of preparing and delivering a pitch. “Look, my hands are still shaking,” he said, holding them up. “But now I know what to expect, and that’s important.”
“Aggie Shark Tank is an great opportunity to showcase some of the exciting businesses developed by NMSU students in Studio G and provide them a chance to raise investment capital to accelerate their businesses,” Studio G Director Kramer Winingham said.
Arrowhead Center Director Kathy Hansen said she’s grateful for the enthusiasm of the Sharks and the local families who attend to watch the excitement unfold.
“The community’s connection to Aggie Shark Tank shows that there is tremendous support for our students and their dreams of creating their own businesses right here in Las Cruces,” Hansen said. “We are very appreciative of the leadership and commitment to NMSU that the Sharks have shown for these entrepreneurial students.”
For more information or to register for free tickets, visit sharktank.nmsu.edu.
By: Amanda Bradford, For the Sun-News