UCF students will battle their start-up business ideas in UCF’s Joust New Venture Competition on April 15.

Similar to ABC’s  “Shark Tank,” students will pitch their ideas to local business leaders and compete for $75,000 to turn their start-up idea into a reality. The annual competition has produced several successful businesses, and led students to appearances on “Shark Tank,” according to a release.

The event will be led by Dr. Cameron Ford, director of the UCF College of Business Administration Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

The four competing finalists are:

Joe Sleppy, Capacitech Energy, LLC: A cable based super capacitor that can simultaneously store and transport electricity.

David Nash, Idem: Provides law enforcement with a new presumptive drug testing system that is more accurate and safer than current methods.

Ben Gauthier, Talking Stick: An app that lets you watch or join live, real-time conversations around any topic.

Arielle Cohen and Zachary Shea, Zuke Music: A web and mobile platform that enables better music creation, collaboration and promotion.

UCF’s Joust New Venture Competition will be held at 1 p.m. in the Student Union Pegasus Ballroom. Winners are expected to be announced at 3:30 p.m., according to a release.


Rosie Reitze is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @rosie_ucf or email her at

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