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Skidmore College hosts Saratoga Springs version of 'Shark Tank'-style business competition

April 07, 2017 06:43 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Skidmore College is a liberal arts school, but it's fast gaining a reputation for being a business hotbed.

It seems everyone has a business or product idea.

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"For a liberal arts school you'd be surprised the amount of talented business people that come out of Skidmore," said junior Zack Jones, a graduate of Saratoga Springs City Schools.

Which brings us to Friday's competition. Like the TV show "Shark Tank," young entrepreneurs who've been fine tuning a business plan and product all year, presented to judges with $60,000 on the line.

Inspiration for the products can come from unique places.

Zack Jones is a DJ who was working a party and didn't have a song that people wanted to hear.

"We're at the event and the requests started piling up for the same song, "Sorry" by Justin Bieber."

So Jones has come up with an app called AuxNation that allows people to connect directly with the DJ to make their requests.

Judges also heard about Graham Gilmore's fermented probiotic tea, and Izaak Cohen's high-end rolling papers for legal marijuana.

In its seventh year, the competion is the brainchild of 1990 Skidmore College grad Ken Freirich who went on to become CEO of a major publishing company.

"There is pressure. Generally students want to win and they want to win because they're passionate about their business and their idea," said Freirich.

First place in the competition earns $20,000. Second gets $10,000.

Izaak Cohen was hoping for a share of the green to put his budding business in the black.

"To win it would be a dream come true honestly. I've been working very hard and it's consumed my whole entire life."

Credits

Mark Mulholland

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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