Wright Venture

Wright Venture is an entrepreneurial opportunity modeled after “Shark Tank,” an ABC–TV reality competition series that features aspiring entrepreneurs making business presentations to a panel of potential investors. Our goal is to create a real-life, lasting experience similar to an actual business startup, including networking, mentorship, creative idea development, product design, service creation, financial management, business planning, and marketing all offered free by Wright State faculty, staff, and local and regional sponsors.

Program Goals

  • To provide a forum for you to experience real-world business collaboration in an effort to reach a probable successful business launch.
  • Allow you the creative freedom and use of tools, organizations, and technologies to shape an idea and bring it into reality.
  • Require you to prove a business idea by requiring full financial analysis, business planning, and marketing planning. The result will be a viable business idea.
  • Provide you an opportunity to collaborate with local entrepreneurs and mentors within the business community and Wright State faculty and staff.
  • Expose you to the entrepreneurial experience and the critical thinking, creative decision-making, and life-changing scenarios of the business start-up process.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I’m afraid someone will steal my idea. Are there any assurances this will not happen? Are non-disclosure agreements in place?

    Most judges are business development professionals, and typically do not sign non-disclosure agreements. Their interaction with multiple businesses and potential entrepreneurs with many business plans minimizes the possibility of receiving truly unique ideas. In order to protect themselves from any possible misunderstandings, non-disclosure agreements are not signed so the judges are not limited in continuing their work with other businesses in the future.

    You will also present your idea to a group of your peers in the final pitch and you may be working in close proximity to other teams and students throughout the development process. For this reason, it is the sole responsibility of each team to make every effort to protect their intellectual property.

    This competition offers a great opportunity for you to receive valuable insight and advice regarding your idea. However, if you are still not comfortable presenting your idea in the format of the competition, you may want to reconsider entering.

  • How do I write a business plan? I’ve never done this before.

    The Small Business Development Center at Wright State University will conduct the pre-submission training and provide ongoing assistance to all teams who enter the competition.

  • I have invested $3,000 to start my business already. Can I still use this business idea?

    Yes, you can submit a self-funded business if it is less than two years old and have not earned gross revenues of $50,000 or more. Owner investment does not count toward the revenue cap.

  • If I receive an award, do I have to invest it in my business?

    The start-up funding award will be distributed based on the funding request within the business plan. Successful execution of the business plan must occur before subsequent rounds of funding will be distributed. Successful repayment of start-up funds is expected before any distribution of profits takes place to team members.

  • Can I enter more than one idea?

    Multiple ideas are welcome, but complete separate applications, submissions, and team selections must be made for each idea.

For more information about the Wright Venture program, contact Lance Cauley at lance.cauley@wright.edu.


Funding for the Wright Venture program is generously provided by the James Family Foundation, the Wright State University Foundation and the Raj Soin College of Business. The Raj Soin College of Business and the Small Business Development Center at Wright State University provide operational management services and coordinate all facets of the program.

Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Jennifer Ruhl for more information about how you can take part in the Wright Venture program.