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Muskingum University student and alumnae entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to investors at ‘Shark Tub’

Shark TubThree area small businesses, founded by Muskingum University alumnae and current students, competed for the opportunity to win a $10,000 investment to grow their businesses at the Muskingum County Business Incubator’s (MCBI) Shark Tub event in Zanesville March 3. More than 600 business and community leaders as well as numerous Muskingum alumni, faculty and staff were in attendance.

Modeled after ABC’s hit reality show “Shark Tank,” MCBI’s Shark Tub featured 18 businesses and startups who began by pitching their businesses to attendees. The event’s attendees then voted on who they wanted to proceed to the final round of three finalists by using $100,000 in pretend cash.

Of the three Muskie-founded businesses participating in the event, two – Jennings Java and Cashmere & Twig – were selected as finalists to present their proposals to a panel of “sharks,” including entrepreneur Aaron Spragg ’03, who determined the recipients of the investment. Both Jennings Java and Cashmere & Twig received a portion of the final prize.

Founded by sophomore Daniel Jennings, Jennings Java is a coffee roasting business seeking “to create a coffee catered to the consumer’s personal taste bud, while at the same time maintaining an affordable price.” Cashmere & Twig, founded by Jackie Bogart Matheney ‘01 and Jennifer Bogart Eubanks ‘98, is a line of nature-inspired products free from parabens, synthetic fragrances and artificial colors. The line features “essential oil infused skin care, hair care and specialty rubs for the whole family as well as bulk and retail packages for professional use.” Offering unique, handcrafted gifts, Quimby’s Keepsakes, was founded by Shelly DeVol Stottsberry ‘03 to memorialize friends and loved ones and express sympathy in a unique way. Quimby’s was also represented at the event by and Shauna Jellison Kelley ’04.

Shark Tub, in its third year, is hosted by MCBI, a non-profit organization, founded by Larry Triplett ’80, dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs with growing their businesses.