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Entrepreneurs: SHARK TANK at Wesleyan November 16

Have you ever thought about starting your own business? Have you ever wondered whether your idea for a business really could be successful? Now you can find out what others think of your idea and compete for cash prizes at the same time.

Simply enter Rocky Mount’s first entrepreneurial competition, called “Shark Tank.” The event will take place Saturday, November 16, from 6 to 9 p.m. at North Carolina Wesleyan College’s Dunn Center, in collaboration with Wesleyan’s new Eastern North Carolina Center for Business & Entrepreneurship. Register to compete or obtain free tickets to watch the contestants at

Contestants in the Shark Tank event will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges and the audience, who will vote on each proposal and select winners. Cash prizes will be awarded in several categories.

Shark Tank will spotlight the talent of area students as well as entrepreneurs. The program is modeled after a popular television series that features aspiring entrepreneurs who present their ideas to a panel of potential investors. Local participants will compete in three divisions:  college students, businesses/entrepreneurs, and Young Entrepreneur Academy students.

The Young Entrepreneur Academy (YEA!) educates middle and high school students in a groundbreaking, intensive, nine-month course of project-based, hands-on entrepreneurial education in partnership with the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce.

Sponsors of Shark Tank, which is coordinated by SpringBoardNC, include the Eastern North Carolina Center for Businesss & Entrepreneurship, the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce, the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, the Carolinas Gateway Partnership, and NEER. Additional sponsorships are available through SpringBoardNC.

North Carolina Wesleyan recently established the Eastern North Carolina Center for Business & Entrepreneurship. The center will help students and members of the community learn to launch successful small businesses, which will foster employment in Eastern North Carolina. The college also recently added a concentration in entrepreneurship to its academic major in business administration.

SpringBoardNC was established in 2012 to foster and support entrepreneurship in Eastern North Carolina. The organization serves as a resource hub for individuals who want to start or grow their businesses. It brings valuable information and entrepreneurs together through online communities, Biz & Brews networking events, and Innovation & Opportunity Circles.

SpringBoardNC is located at the Carolinas Gateway Partnership (CGP) headquarters at 427 Falls Road, Rocky Mount, NC 27804. The CGP and SpringBoardNC are strategic partners, as their goals for economic development are mutual.