SwatTank, the College's First Business Competition

Swarthmore students who wish to turn their business ideas into reality will soon be able to. Divided into three phases, each containing business seminars and a round of selection, SwatTank, the first business-plan competition at Swarthmore, will provide students with a platform and guidance from alumni to transform their innovative thoughts into well-formed business plans.

The application of the competition, which is currently available online and will open to students till December 8, asks candidates to describe their business ideas, the problems their businesses may solve and the potential solutions. The applicants also need to show the financial feasibility and sustainability of their plans and persuade judges why they should invest in the projects.

The first webinar on idea generation and team building, open to all students on campus, will be held on December 1 and will be led by Cathy Polinsky '99, senior director of software development at SalesForce, and Chuck Groom '00, head of engineering for SurveyMonkey's Seattle office. Aiming to provide teams with resources to enable them to fully formulate their ideas, the first phase of the contest will have alumni judges selecting 10 teams based on the viability and quality of ideas.

These 10 teams will go on to the second phase of the competition. During this process, each of them will form their business plans with the help of an alum mentor. After hearing seminars on financing and sustaining a startup, creating a business plan and networking, each team will submit their plans at the end of this period and four teams will get into the final round of the competition.

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