Several Loudoun entrepreneurs jumped into the Dolphin Tank Wednesday at AOL’s Dulles campus to get feedback about their business ideas. And while panels of judges on television tend to have a bit of a bite, like ABC’s Shark Tank, this panel acted more like a team of swim instructors.
“Dolphin Tank gives entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their business idea to a supportive panel of industry experts,” said Loudoun Small Business and Entrepreneurship Manager Debi Roder, adding that participants received “positive, actionable feedback, along with input from the audience. It’s a much more friendly, respectful experience than Shark Tank.”
Springboard Enterprises brought Dolphin Tank to Dulles in partnership with Loudoun County, AOL’s Fishbowl Labs, John Marshall Bank and InTheCapital.
The panel included Donna Harris, co-founder of 1776; Maria Thomas, former CEO of Etsy; Chuck Wortman, SVP of John Marshall Bank, and Bud Rosenthal, SVP/GM of Paid Services at AOL.
Each participant had two minutes to pitch his or her idea to the panel, followed by seven to eight minutes of advice.
- Zainab Zaki, TappedIn
- Andrew Mason, EventStir
- James Li, Encore
- Mrim Boutla, More Than Money Careers
- Donald Eaves, Jelly Fields
- Marty Bauer, RidePost