Take the most notorious rivalry in the state of Oregon. Blend thoroughly with one of network television's top reality shows. What do you get? A brilliant mashup with an irresistible name: Civil War Shark Tank.
Dreamed up this year by members of the Lundquist College's Entrepreneurship Club, the competition is designed to foster connection between aspiring entrepreneurs at both universities. The club's past president, Joel Kelly '13 noted that he hopes the contest will become a signature event for the club, comparable to the Women in Business Club's annual gala.
Avamere Professor of Practice Michael Crooke—former CEO of Patagonia and Revolution Living, among other companies—recalled the passion of his early days in startups in his fast-paced keynote.
Next, aspiring entrepreneurs behind six different ventures--three from each school, of course--came before the judges' panel to present and defend their business plans. While the judges deliberated, the audience and participants enjoyed a catered banquet in the Jubitz Atrium.
In the end, the Beavers won most of the evening. Multicopter Northwest (see video) and Cycle Jacket--both from Oregon State University--won first and second place, respectively. Action Sports Complex from the UO took third.
With an audience of nearly one hundred (on an exceptionally balmy Friday evening, no less), the competition more than met its organizers ambitions.
"It was so great to meet entrepreneurs from OSU, and the event really helped kickstart the partnership between the two programs," said Mitchell Van Dyke '13, former Entrepreneurship Club vice president and one of the driving forces behind the competition. "Both programs are very excited to move forward with this newfound collaboration. Our goal is to alternate campuses for the event each year, with next year being hosted by OSU."