Watch Penn State student startups compete for up to $30,000 on ‘The Investment’

Shark Tank-style WPSU-TV show will air on May 16 and 21
The Investment word script
Credit: Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — WPSU-TV will televise “The Investment,” the final round of the Invent Penn State Inc.U Competition, at 9 p.m. on May 16 and again at 6 p.m. on May 21. During “The Investment,” six Penn State student startups compete for up to $30,000 in funding that will help advance their companies.

This final round of the Inc.U Competition took place and winners were announced during Penn State Startup Week powered by PNC on April 9. Before presenting in front of a four-judge panel on “The Investment,” finalists received pitch coaching from experienced mentors from the Invent Penn State entrepreneurial ecosystem. The six finalists also received help from the Entrepreneur Assistance Law Clinic for LLC establishment and the Intellectual Property Law Clinic for patent and intellectual property assistance.

Inc.U Competition finalists included:

  • The Ballet Scout, a subscription database for dancers to find auditions, training programs, and jobs based on their budget, housing needs, location, style, and dates available. The startup founders are Robert Fulton, a Penn State World Campus student studying business, management, marketing, and related support services, and Eugene Ryoo, a fourth-year student studying cybersecurity analytics and operations at University Park.
  • CarToCamp, which designs, manufactures, and sells a universally fitting sleeping-platform product and storage system for car camping. The startup founders are Nathan Bonslaver, a senior at Penn State Berks, Robert Miller, a 2019 Penn State Berks alumnus, and Kevin Gulick, a 2020 Penn State Berks alumnus. All three founders are studying or studied mechanical engineering.
  • Ithaka, which aims to reinvent the future of the landscaping industry by using artificial intelligence to increase the accuracy of estimates and timelines and virtual reality to speed along the design process and increase customer satisfaction. The startup founders are Joseph Duncan, a fourth-year student studying industrial engineering at University Park, and Zion Taber.
  • MarRosa’s Old World Cuisine, which offers marinara sauce, vodka sauce, and tomato basil sauce all made with imported Italian tomatoes. The startup founder is Marcella Marino, a senior studying corporate innovation and entrepreneurship and international business at University Park.
  • ShambaTek, which provides electricity to Kenyan farmers to enable them to increase their business potential. The startup founders are Monem Rizvi, a second-year student studying finance at University Park, and Aidan Olszewski, a third-year student studying biomedical engineering at University Park.
  • Table Rock Markets, an automated e-commerce platform designed for farmers, helping keep small farms in business by increasing their sales and profitability by leveraging resources in the digital world. The founders are Jake Grim, a senior studying business management and marketing at Penn State Mont Alto, and Aidan Rauscher, a junior studying computer science at University Park.

To view more Penn State affiliated startups, visit the Startup Navigator. To find more student entrepreneur resources, visit the Resource Navigator.

About Inc.U Competition

Inc.U began in 2015 as a pilot program funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. It was originally a collaborative effort between the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Bucknell University, and Penn State to foster undergraduate entrepreneurship. From 2016-2020, the Inc.U Competition was managed by PennTAP and evolved to become a Penn State program offered in partnership with Invent Penn State and the LaunchBox & Innovation Network. Since spring 2022, the Inc.U Competition has been a featured competition as part of Penn State Startup Week powered by PNC.