U Entrepreneurs Hope to Get in the “Shark Tank”

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(Courtesy of Kelsey McNeal/ABC. Caleb Light (left) and David Toledo present their product in an episode of "Shark Tank" which aired April 11th, 2014 on ABC.)
(Courtesy of Kelsey McNeal/ABC. Caleb Light (left) and David Toledo present their product in an episode of "Shark Tank" which aired April 11th, 2014 on ABC.)
(Courtesy of Kelsey McNeal/ABC. Caleb Light (left) and David Toledo present their product in an episode of “Shark Tank” which aired April 11th, 2014 on ABC.)

Aspiring entrepreneurs are preparing their best ideas because ABC’s “Shark Tank” is coming to the U.

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“Shark Tank,” a reality TV show that centers around entrepreneurs who pitch their business ideas to multimillionaires and billionaires known as “sharks,” will hold auditions in the Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building on Thursday, April 16. The event is hosted by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and staff, faculty and students are all invited to the audition.

Thad Kelling, marketing and public relations director for Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, said, “We want everyone to show up whether or not you think your idea is the next million dollar product.”

At the audition, a panel of casting members will judge one minute long pitches and presenters will be asked a series of questions afterwards. To audition, contestants must register and bring a completed application found on the Lassonde website.

Kelling said the U is ranked one of the top 25 schools for entrepreneurship and he believes involvement with “Shark Tank” will improve the reputation of the U’s growing program.

Utah residents have been on the show in the past. David Toledo, who received his BS in Materials Science and Engineering at the U, was a participant in last year’s season of “Shark Tank.” Toldeo is now co-founder and CEO at Power Practical, which focuses on using heat as a power solution when backpacking.

“‘Shark Tank’ was a really good experience,” Toldeo said. “Since Mark Cuban invested, our products have been introduced to bigger stores, like Target and REI.”

In addition to the April 16 audition, there is a general casting call open to the public on April 17.

c.kannapel@chronicle.utah.edu

@chriswritine

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