Shark tank and Starbucks

Students pitch ideas over coffee

The Political Engagement Project (PEP) is hosting a series of events throughout the semester that allow students to bring ideas to the table in hopes of making them a reality.

PEP got the idea from ABC’s television show, Shark Tank.

“I thought it would be an opportunity for students, faculty and registered student organizations that have ideas but don’t know how to capitalize on those ideas,” said Ferris communications professor and co-coordinator for PEP, Kristi Scholten.

The sessions are called “coffee talks” and are meant for students and faculty to bring ideas to PEP to brainstorm and ask for guidance. Unlike the reality show, PEP will not turn down any idea that is brought forth.

“PEP wants to know how we can help you turn your glimmer or sense of something into something real that meets our mission and that is useful to students and that is engaging,” Scholten said.

According to Scholten and Mike Leathermen, an assistant project management engineer technology professor and co-coordinator of PEP, they just want people to bring ideas to the table, and they will offer guidance, resources and money.

“I think that this is a great idea. It’s prompting students to think, engage and to get their ideas out there,” said Ferris hospitality management senior, Lauren Thomas.

Students and faculty that bring ideas to “coffee talks” are offered free Starbucks while brainstorming ideas with the experts on the panel.

“We are really trying to work with students to get speakers, send groups on field trips, an event… it doesn’t even have to be big party politics, just anything that students feel the need to be changed or added,” said program assistant, Shana Schadler.

According to Scholten, all ideas are welcomed, such as a new recycling policy or anything regarding Ferris. There are endless possibilities.

Future “coffee talks” will take place Tuesday, Oct. 18, and Tuesday, Nov. 29, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Those looking to attend should meet at the Starbucks in the University Center.

“We have money, we have resources, we just need you to tell us what you want,” Scholten said. “We’re interested in listening to your ideas while you enjoy free Starbucks.”