Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Purdue student pitches his product on ABCs Shark Tank

November 23, 2009

Sawyer Sparks swam with the sharks and came out smiling. But what’s really getting him excited is not the fame he received during a September appearance on the entrepreneurial show Shark Tank, but the opportunity to invest in his hometown, Bloomfield, Indiana.


“The whole reason I wanted to participate in Shark Tank was to get enough exposure to create jobs in my community. That excites me more than being on a television show,” says the agriculture major, who received several offers from investors on the show. “Creating jobs has been a goal of mine for a long time. I want to be able to boost the economy during these hard times.”


Sparks, who invented the gluten-free modeling compound, Soy-Yer Dough, was selected this season to appear on the reality show, in which entrepreneurs pitch their products and business plans to five self-made millionaires, known as “the sharks.”


Sparks is currently signing a deed to a manufacturing facility in Greene County. Eventually, 10 to 15 full-time employees will produce mass quantities of the compound, which comes in 11 different scents and colors as well as a soy-free version. Right now, the modeling compound is available to the public at $2 a unit at www.soy-yer.com.



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