Inspired by the popular ABC television show, “Shark Tank,” Audacity Group Social Enterprise hosted Greenville’s very own mock Shark Tank event June 27at the Boys and Girls Club. The mock shark tank allowed local entrepreneurs to present their business ideas and receive feedback from a panel of Greenville’s very own “sharks.”
The “Shark Tank” show lets entrepreneurs pitch an idea, product or small business plan to a panel of some of today’s most successful self-made individuals. The “sharks” then decide if they want to invest their own money and expertise into the entrepreneur’s product for a share of the profit, and the entrepreneurs decide if they would like to take the deal.
Audacity Group Social Enterprise is an organization focused on helping those in the local community pursue their passions and get involved in the local market.
“Audacity is a stage for key performers and those performers are entrepreneurs,” said CEO and Founder Eveangel Savage.
Savage was inspired by the national hit television show, saying that she felt as though the show’s message really coincided with the mission of Audacity. The event began with live music and keynote speaker, Jermaine McNair.
“I decided a great thing to do would be to bring together community organizations to give an entrepreneurial experience – something where we can tap into the market and sharpen our skills, not by just going to a workshop here and a workshop there,” said Savage.
The entrepreneurial businesses that participated were Reign Incorporated, Wooten Fitnezz, Poet LadyDivine, C.A.U.T.I.O.N., NC Civil Organization and ISM Artistry. The panel of sharks included Gregory Hedgepeth of East Carolina University, Lora Clark of Pitt Community College and Tiana Keith of City of Greenville.
“They got real answers and different questions with real advice and that’s very valuable to them,” said Savage. “Now they’re able to take that information and take it to the next level.”
Savage said she created Audacity Group Social Enterprise as a way to resolve socio-economic deprivation in the local community.
“Instead of settling for poverty, we help people to figure out their passion and develop ideas and concepts that will allow them to pass into a market and improve their income,” she said.
Savage said she has always been interested in rehabilitation, not in the medical sense, but in helping people overcome decisions they have made or situations they are stuck in – so she went back to school to get her PhD in Human Services.
“My specialty area is developing communities based on what we have available to us and what can we do for ourselves, teaching us to own our own,” said Savage.
This was the first mock shark tank that Audacity has hosted and although Savage said she felt it was helpful to the participants, she hopes to see it grow over time. Audacity is currently organizing four small mock workshops starting in September to lead up to the second-annual mock Shark Tank.
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