Monday, December 11, 2023

Second annual Shark Tank Virginia returns to Williamsburg

Glen Duff makes his pitch before the sharks at Virginia Shark Tank in 2017. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)
Glen Duff makes his pitch before the sharks at Virginia Shark Tank in 2017. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)

WILLIAMSBURG — The second annual Shark Tank Virginia will return to the Stryker Center this April.

Shark Tank Virginia will place 30 entrepreneurs before a panel of investors and a live audience, according to a news release from event presenter Ignition Center, a non-profit business accelerator located on Richmond Road.

Doors to the Stryker Center will open at 4:30 p.m. on April 14.

Just like in the national Shark Tank television show, the participants will pitch their startup to the investment sharks. 

“Shark Tank Virginia is an inclusive event that introduces the community to entrepreneurs across Virginia, and will connect innovators, investors, and mentors,” said Ignition founder Lance Zaal.

The Ignition Center provides support, resources and direct investment to budding businesses.

The main event will feature six startups, whose owners will make 8-minute pitches to the sharks. Each pitch will be followed by a 12-minute conversation between the startup and shark.

Another 24 entrepreneurs will make 90-second elevator pitches throughout the evening. They are also eligible for investment, and will showcase their business or product to the public in an expo before the main event.

The inaugural 2017 Shark Tank Virginia raised roughly $200,000 in investments.

Participants from last year will also return to speak to this year’s batch of startups about their successes and struggles. Glen Duff of Zup Boards pitched his watersports business at last year’s Shark Tank Virginia before competing on the national television program Shark Tank.

“It was extremely valuable to our company and we are currently engaging with a number of the judges and spectators that we met at the event,” said Sam Boochever, who pitched his 1Degree App business last year.

Shark Tank Virginia is seeking startups and sharks. Entrepreneurs who wish to pitch must apply by March 24. Those interested can email

To get tickets and view the itinerary for the evening go to the Ignition Center website.

Admission is $15 through April 1 and includes dinner. A cash bar will also be open.

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