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January 29, 2019
On Campus

Into the Tank

Wittenberg’s Shark Tank-Inspired Program

Affirmed by Forbes Magazine as one of the Top 50 Most Entrepreneurial Colleges in the nation, Wittenberg inspires innovative thinking in its students, which will again be on display during the university's second annual Tiger Tank on Feb. 7, 2019.

Hosted by the department of business, Wittenberg’s version of the popular Shark Tank program begins at 7 p.m. at Founders Pub inside the Benham-Pence Student Center. This year’s judges include Kyle Barger, Wittenberg class of 2007, owner of Champion Trading Group in Columbus; Blake Shaffer, owner of LWS Tax and Accounting in Springfield and Vanguard 937; and Kim Frazier, director of growth initiatives at The Entrepreneurs Center in Dayton. All three judges will come to Wittenberg to hear students pitch their ideas in hopes of earning an internship or mentorship.

Barger earned his degree in business management with a minor in psychology. He was a member and captain of Wittenberg’s rugby team. Upon graduation, he spent 10 years trading commodities for the David J. Joseph Company, a division of Nucor Steel, based out of Cincinnati. A former professional rugby player and sponsored CrossFit athlete, Barger turned his love of sports into a business, opening a gym while living in St. Louis, Missouri. Arch City Fitness was St. Louis’ No. 1-rated fitness studio for two years, but he gave it all up and returned home upon learning his father’s health was deteriorating. He then started the Champion Trading Group (CTG) in Columbus, a third-party purchasing and sales division for customers in the steel and metals recycling industry. He currently resides in Columbus with his wife, Lauren, and daughter, Charlie.

Shaffer earned his B.S. from Wright State University. After graduating, Shaffer worked at two full-service accounting firms in Springfield before starting LWS Tax and Accounting in 2008, representing clients from local, state, and federal government agencies. Shaffer and his wife, Tina, have two children, Landon and Aliya. Born in 2006, Landon has a genetic disorder called Menkes disease. After finding out about his son’s condition, Shaffer set out to give Landon a normal life and make sure he felt confident in his clothes, which led to the creation of Vanguard 937, a shirt company that creates clothes for kids with special needs and disabilities. Shaffer also started Champion Center Health and Fitness.

A graduate of the University of Cincinnati and Boston University, Frazier currently resides in Springfield and works as the director of growth initiatives at the Dayton Entrepreneurs Center. She has formed technology acceleration programming with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and helped The Entrepreneurs Center win an Entrepreneurial Services Provider (ESP) program for the Dayton region from the Ohio Third Frontier.

This year five-to-eight entrepreneurial students will present their business ideas. Students will be judged not only on the quality of their idea, but how well they can problem solve. A livestream will be broadcast via the Wittenberg website at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7.

For more information, check out the Business Department YouTube Page at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpKSwS20aYgvgTQHnxodcDw and the Tiger Tank Live Video Links Page at https://www.wittenberg.edu/academics/tiger-tank/live

- University Communications Story by Sidney Reeder '22

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University Communications Staff
Staff Report

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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