Orange Coast College will showcase student entrepreneurship with its first ever Pirate's Plank Competition on Thursday, April 6 from 6–8 p.m. in the Robert B. Moore Theater.
"This event is an OCC student business pitch competition much like the ABC's Shark Tank show," says business instructor Mark Grooms. "The purpose is to encourage our students to solve problems and inspire their entrepreneurial spirit."
Seven students will present their ideas to a panel of judges, who will listen to the presentation and ask questions regarding the viability of the product in the marketplace. Business pitches have been pre-selected, and include an iOS running app targeted for casual runners called Instarun, a search engine built specifically for interior designers called Design Findr, and a customizable and adjustable work desk called "Sit Stand Tilt."
Judges for the competition will offer advice on how to improve each product and presentation. Of the seven students selected to present, two will be selected as "Most Likely to Succeed" and "Most Innovative." These winners will receive cash prizes, which the judges will award that night.
Organizer Grooms emphasizes that the environment will be one of learning and nurturing, and all students who are selected to present will receive invaluable advice and a memento of the event.
"When I was hired at OCC last fall, I vowed to produce a business pitch competition here," Grooms says. "What's so wonderful [about OCC] is the makeup of the students. We have many divisions represented with diverse business ideas. I hope this first event shows students, faculty, staff, and administrators what's possible."
OCC's Pirate's Plank Competition is sponsored by First Bank and Great Mex Grill in Costa Mesa.
What: OCC Pirate's Plank Competition
When: April 6, 6–8 p.m.
Where: Robert B. Moore Theatre
2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa
Parking: Park in Lot D or Lot E, Fairview & Merrimac, Costa Mesa