Shark Tank Winner Freezes Out Competition

Student describing his slide to judges
September 15, 2017

What do freezer frost, entrepreneurs, and UMD have in common?  If you’re stumped, the answer is the second annual UMD Shark Tank competition.  

This event, held each spring, brings student entrepreneurs together to compete for prize money for the advancement of their innovative product, service, or businesses.

The inventive entrepreneur, who won the 2017 UMD Shark Tank and the first place prize of $1,500, Nathan Lipinski, UMD medical student, wowed judges with his Freezer Friend defrost indicator. This product is designed for primary and secondary freezers that may be left unattended for various periods of time, such as when a homeowner is away on vacation, there is a power failure, or if the door is left ajar.

When the internal temperature in the freezer is above 32° F., water in the indicator’s tube will melt, causing a washer to fall and make contact with the mechanism’s copper-coated floor. This activates an alarm and LED indicator light by creating a complete circuit.

Additionally, Lipinski’s innovation included smaller indicators for use by shippers who need to ensure a constant temperature of their product from pickup to delivery.

Second place and $875 went to Adam Kirsch, who showcased the Ducer Drag, an innovative tool to help improve the success of ice fishermen who use transducers.

Third place and $650 went to Sebastian Nemec, who showcased Folx, an e-commerce retail store that consolidates all of the products that transgender people are looking for onto one site, saving them time and money.

Winning the audience choice prize of $300 was Cole Ehresmann and Zack Gapinski, who showcased a web development platform that is aimed at unifying the online action sports community in the form of a website and app.

Also bringing ideas for consideration were Matt Cherne, who showcased Cherne Beats, an online music source for content creators, videographers, and digital agencies; and Mike Kenyanya, who showcased Health at Hand, a comprehensive all-around health management solution aimed at creating a healthier populous at a lower price by focusing on prevention.

The competition was organized by Entrepreneurship students Mitch Brown and Natasha Perkerwicz, as part of their capstone experience in the entrepreneurship major. The event, sponsored by LSBE in support of entrepreneurship, was judged by Patrice Bradley, CEO of Swim Creative; Monique Forcier of Titanium Investments; Ben Mork, co-owner of Mainstream Fashions for Men; serial entrepreneur Stevie Paulson; and Curt Walczak of the UMD Center for Economic Development.

If you or your business would like to be involved with next spring’s UMD Shark Tank through a sponsorship or other means, contact Event Co-Director Mitch Brown – brow4198@d.umn.edu.

If LSBE’s  entrepreneurship major sounds like something you are interested, please contact Raymond Jones, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship – rjjones@d.umn.edu.