STORY BY DRAKE RHONE
For the past few years, Drake Enactus has held the “Project Bulldog” event on Drake’s campus. This Saturday, the third annual Project Bulldog will take place in Aliber 101 Lecture Hall.
The project is inspired by ABC’s “Shark Tank,” and all Drake students are welcome to take part. Afterwards, participants have the opportunity to work with the judges to follow through with their plan.
On their website, Drake Enactus describes the process of signing up for the project.
“First, think of an idea,” says the group on the Project Bulldog page. “Second, get in a team of one to four people. Once you have an idea and team set, register online. On event day, your team will have a maximum of ten minutes to present to our five judges that your idea is worth investing in. (The) winner of Project Bulldog will be chosen for the grand prize of $750 – no strings attached.”
Drake student Ethan Turner is the president of Drake Enactus, a local chapter of an international organization. Enactus is a non-profit sponsored by most Fortune 500 companies. The group focuses on entrepreneurship. Enactus’ influence lets the Drake chapter create projects such as Project Bulldog.
“In Enactus, you take your service projects to a competition at the end of the year and you compete to see who makes the most impact,” Turner said. “Project Bulldog is to emulate what Shark Tank was doing, but take it a little further by giving the entrepreneur the opportunity to connect with business professionals.”
This year, Turner would also like to see more students from other schools enter Project Bulldog.
“You don’t need to be a business student,” Turner said. “I think there’s people in this school who have entrepreneurial mindsets and would like to start something that isn’t what you would think of as from the business school, and I think the judges would like to see that.”
Kai Asberry won the competition in 2014 with “Snippster,” an on-demand tailoring company sometimes referred to as “the Uber of tailoring for Des Moines.” But Asberry almost didn’t even show up to the competition.
“I was more scared than anything,” Asberry said. “Then my friends convinced me to do it. I went in there with just an idea for what was originally called Tailored. I went through the process of explaining what I would do with the $500, which was to build a website and appointment booking, and then go through the process of having clothes measured and pinned and getting them back in 2 to 5 days.”
Asberry later refined his idea and entered the Lorentzen Student Hatchery program, where he won $5000.
“Project Bulldog was the first step in validating my idea,” Asberry said. “It was open to everyone, and I would recommend (it) as a validation process.”
Teams with ideas for Project Bulldog must register for the competition by today. For more information, students can contact Drake Enactus at email@example.com or visit their website at www.drakenactus.org.