Invest-in-Success Competition Now Open to High School Students


Sponsored by the Shields School of Business, Invest-in-Success is an annual cash-award competition themed after the popular “Shark Tank” television show. 

For many years, the competition has been open to Saint Francis undergraduate and graduate students.

This year, area high school students are also competing for cash prizes.

Deadline for submissions was Feb. 22, and the final face-off event will take place on March 8 at 7 p.m. in Schwab Hall and via Zoom. 

The competition is sponsored by the Zanzuccki Endowment Fund and a total of $2,500 will be awarded to one or more competitors.

“Normally, we do the competition every fall,” said Nicole Bauman, Director of the SSOB graduate programs. “We didn’t this past fall because of COVID-19.”

Invest-in-Success events in years past were coordinated by the Enactus and CEO clubs. This year, however, students in Bauman’s Event Planning class are organizing and hosting the event.

“The event management class is literally revamping everything,” said Morgan Flack, a junior marketing major and a student in the course. 

“My role in the class right now is organizing the college side of things.”

Flack and other SFU students involved in planning the event are eligible to compete because the competition involves blind judging.

“Students learn in the classroom as they plan the event and see it through from beginning to end,” said Bauman. 

“It’s really a good hands-on learning experience for my Communications and Management students.”

Competitors whose submissions are selected to move on to the face-off phase will deliver a five-minute presentation, accompanied by a PowerPoint, and then participate in a three-minute question-and-answer session with the judges. 

Judges include alumni, parents of students in the class and a few SFU staff and faculty members.

“Recently, more students are designing and pitching apps,” said Bauman.

“Judges are always looking for something new and innovative, not just improving existing business ideas.”

Past winners of the event include Josh Dinges, who proposed a strategy for raising beef cattle more naturally, and Connor McDonnell, who proposed reducing space in cemeteries by utilizing tree-carved memorials.

 “We always like to see what works, what doesn’t, and where we can improve,” said Bauman.