By far New Jersey’s largest-ever prize pool for a “Shark Tank”-style pitch contest was dished out by Montclair State University on Wednesday.
The university’s iteration of these increasingly popular campus competitions allowed student-entrepreneurs to capture a total of $80,000 in prize money, with one team claiming $50,000 in nothing-to-scoff-at winnings.
“We look at it like this is investing in companies just as startup investors do,” he said. “The reason we raised the money to expand the prizes is that one of the biggest challenges for startups is still finding funding, especially for early stage startups that haven’t demonstrated they have a lot of traction, but they need money for their business model.”
For the four years the school has run this annual contest, the prize has been $10,000. It significantly increased for this year’s event — the BulbHead.com Inventors Day for Aspiring Entrepreneurs — based on funding provided by Montclair alumnus AJ Khubani, CEO of invention website BulbHead.com.
The first-place winner was the team behind an app called Wheatpaste. It’s described as a location-based mobile app that connects its users to local news and events as well as small businesses in the area.
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