TTU's version of 'Shark Tank' begins today for investors, invent - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

TTU's version of 'Shark Tank' begins today for investors, inventors, industry professionals

(Source: TTU) (Source: TTU)
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

The two-day Spark Conference begins today at Texas Tech. The free event connects investors, inventors and industry professionals all in one location.

The conference runs through Friday, April 28 at the Innovation Hub at Research Park on the Texas Tech campus.

Texas Tech student Gage Dutkin, president of the Texas Tech Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization (Tech CEOs), is excited to spread the entrepreneur spirit. His company, C-Safe, uses technology to prevent the deaths of children left in hot cars.

"I believe The Spark Conference is the best opportunity for entrepreneurs to launch their startups because it connects us to investors, mentors and industry professionals and provides us with the framework to develop a successful business plan and presentation," he said.

In addition to the networking opportunities, startups also have a chance to earn funding. A total of $200,000 will be awarded over the two days to teams and startups that present to industry experts and investor panels.

For more details and to register for the event, click here.

Scheduled events include:

Thursday (April 27)

  • 12:30-4 p.m.: iLaunch Competition – Startups pitch for funding in Texas Tech's own "Shark Tank." 
  • 4-5:45 p.m.: Global Laboratory for Energy Asset Management and Manufacturing (GLEAMM) Poster Showcase – Students and faculty display cyber security, next generation renewable energy and energy conservation technology. 
  • 4-5:45 p.m.: Lightning Round Reception – Elevator pitches from startups for audience votes. 
  • 6-7:30 p.m.: National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Dinner – Texas Tech honors all inventors with patents at Texas Tech and in our community. 

Friday (April 28)

  • 8:30 a.m.-noon: Spark Fund Presentations – Students and faculty pitch for phase 2 funding on cyber security, next generation renewable energy and energy conservation technology.
  • 10 a.m.-noon: GLEAMM Poster Showcase – Students and faculty display cyber security, next generation renewable energy and energy conservation technology. 
  • 12:15-1 p.m.: Keynote speaker and lunch – Keynote by Wesley Rhodes, who works for IBM as the chief technology officer for sensemaking, director of the Network Science Research Center and an executive cybersecurity architect with the Cognitive and Cloud computing group. 
  • 1-2 p.m.: Awards Ceremony: Participants can meet the winners.

The conference is free and open to the public. The NAI dinner is by invitation only and registration is required for the lunch as space is limited. More information and event registration are available on the Innovation Hub's website

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