The fifth annual BisonTank Competition took place virtually on Wednesday, April 6. BisonTank, organized by the Gallaudet Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (GIEI) and sponsored by Convo, has become an opportunity for future deaf entrepreneurs to boost their innovation and pitch their business ideas. Contestants learn to develop a business concept, and how to bring their ideas into reality, including pitching them in competitions such as BisonTank. Students also benefit from the BisonTank experience by building networking skills.

Over the course of two hours, the five teams presented their pre-developed pitch concepts, then the judges queried each team about their ideas. Eventually, the judges came to their decisions and chose the top three ideas:

  • First place, winning $5,000, was Daniella Reyna with Reyna’s Dog Treats, a concept that takes used brewery grains and turns them into locally-sourced dog treats.
  • Alyssa Glennon of Aly’s Tech Studio came in second place, winning $3,000, with an idea combining Apple iPhone and Apple Watch chargers into a single cord.
  • In third place, winning $2,000, Isabella Bucci and Michaela Kelley of X Events, a solution for missing events: an app for centralizing all events on campus.

Ericka Ouljie, Ritchie Bryant, E. Lynn Jacobowitz, Alex Matsche, and Sachiko Flores served as judges. All are small business owners, and they had the difficult task of choosing the top three business ideas. 

Congratulations to the three winning teams, and all teams who participated! As GIEI interim director Russell Stein said, “You are all winners.”

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