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Drew University Students Brave the Bear Den

Alums and community members offer real-time advice and mentorship

April 2024 – On a Friday evening, Drew University’s Brother’s College was a flurry of excitement during the bi-annual Bear Den event. 

Nearly 200 students from 12 different business and economics classes presented investment, product, and business ideas to a carefully-selected line-up of over 40 judges who provided constructive, real-world feedback.

The event is sponsored by Drew’s Economics and Business departments, the Center for Mentoring and Professional Networks, and Launch.

Twenty eight of the volunteer judges were Drew alums, including entrepreneur Michael Tesoro C’88, owner and founder Ooma Tesoros. To highlight the spirit of entrepreneurship at Drew, each judge was presented with Ooma Tesoro’s marinara sauce as a token of appreciation for their time and input.

Students representing Business Communication and Entrepreneurship classes offered novel start-up ideas, such as Mocha Mail, a coffee subscription service; SecurityAI, an app designed to keep sensitive personal information secure; and Quickplay, organizers and containers for board games. 

Investment students provided a full analysis of public companies, including NetFlix, Meta, Costco, and Nvidia, while Portfolio Management students pitched their portfolio investment recommendations.

Social Impact students took a deep dive into local and global philanthropic organizations, including Grow it Green Morristown, a long-time Drew partner.

Students were given advice on their products and their presentations themselves. Tough questions were fielded by the students; knowledge and expertise were shared by the panelists. In many cases, the constructive criticism shared led to open brainstorming sessions to help the students improve and expand their projects to the next level.

Further student and judge mentoring took place during a networking reception at the conclusion of the presentations.

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