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Dive into the Toothless Shark Tank!


by SIOP Administrative Office

Dive into the Toothless Shark Tank! 

Calling All New and Aspiring I-O Entrepreneurs

There looks to be a rising global tide of entrepreneurialism, as more people worldwide dive into the “gig economy.” I-O psychologists are also testing the entrepreneurial waters in growing numbers, both as participants and as researchers.

The Toothless I-O Shark Tank debuted to an audience of more than 200 at the 2016 SIOP Annual Conference as 10 audience members pitched their ideas to a panel of successful I-O entrepreneurs in a session modeled on the popular TV show, Shark Tank.

The 2017 Toothless I-O Shark Tank, scheduled for Friday, April 28 from 3:00-3:50 pm, will again offer aspiring I-O entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a distinguished panel of successful entrepreneurs.

Bill Macey, Managing Director of Carlsbad Research Group, LLC and SIOP’s 2001-2002 President, Sandra Hartog, Managing Director of the Assessment Practice at BTS, and Matt Barney, Founder and CEO of LeaderAmp and organizer of the 2016 session, are this year’s panelists. Each of the panelists have founded their own firms (some more than once) at some point in their careers and have created innovative, disruptive forces in the I-O field.

While there are no plans for venture capital deals at the session, those who pitch their ideas may walk away with something even more important than funding.

“I can always reach out to other entrepreneurs in my community for business advice, but to talk to an I-O psychologist who has started a successful business is invaluable,” said Laura Heft, the facilitator of this year’s session and a participant in the 2016 event. “They have both the experience of starting a business, and the scientific perspective that other entrepreneurs may not. So they can share business lessons they’ve learned from the I-O perspective.  It’s good to talk with mentors who also understand why I-O psychologists approach projects the way they do.”

Conference attendees who would like to pitch their I-O startup ideas during the session are encouraged to contact facilitator Laura Heft to sign up for a spot to pitch this year’s “sharks.”

Pre-registration is not necessary, but those who sign up in advance will receive guidance on preparing their pitch and be given the first presentation slots during the session.