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News Students sought for show reminiscent of ‘Shark Tank’

Students sought for show reminiscent of ‘Shark Tank’


According to a University of Southern Mississippi press release, USM students are now eligible to participate in a statewide, televised business competition.

The competition offers students the opportunity to interact with southern Mississippi business leaders and make student business ideas visible.

The winners of the competition will go on to participate in a roundtable discussion, imitating the popular program “Shark Tank.” The program is expected to air as a series on the Mississippi Public Broadcasting network.

Students may enter as an individual or a team of up to four people through an online form. The deadline to complete and enter the form is Oct. 19. Winners of the competition will be contacted on Oct. 23.

Applicants must be students at USM and should submit information about their proposed or active business on why the business would beneficial to the Mississippi community.

William Wright, a junior marketing major, actually watches the show and it interests him greatly.

“People have a lot of ideas that they want to try and get out there. It’s a really neat show,” Writ said.

Travis Gentry, a junior kinesiology major, wants to open up a gym to rehabilitate people using the skills he is acquiring here in college. However, he does not believe a show similar to “Shark Tank” would help him in this regard.

“I really don’t have any ideas for inventions or stuff like that to start off my business,” Gentry said.

However, Gentry would join a reality show if offered the  chance for the experience itself.

Eugene Grassi, a junior kinesiology major with an emphasis in kinesiotherapy, has heard of “Shark Tank,” but he has no interest in the show.

“I have no interest in business right now,” Grassi said. “I’m just a kinesiotherapy major.”

“Shark Tank” has gone on to win the 2014 and 2015 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Structured Reality program along with Emmy nominations in 2012 and 2013.

The show also continues to be a ratings juggernaut. According to ABC network, season five of “Shark Tank,” which aired 2013-2014, dominated its Friday night time slot with increase in total viewership by 16 percent and adults 18-49 by 14 percent. With that kind of success, it comes as no surprise that Mississippi Public Broadcasting would want to replicate the show while also encouraging economic growth in the state.

Season premiere for this season of “Shark Tank,” which aired on Sept. 25, brought over 6 million viewers according to TV by the numbers.

For any further questions, contact Joel Bolton, assistant professor of management and international business at USM, at joel.bolton@usm.edu, or Sher Gibbs, another professor in the College of Business, at sherrhonda.gibbs@usm.edu.

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