2023 Shark Tank of Wellness
Global Student Competition
A highlight at the annual Global Wellness Summit (GWS), the Shark Tank of Wellness global student competition gives three university students a life-changing opportunity to network with the top visionaries and business leaders in wellness. Three finalists will be flown to the 2023 Summit, to pitch their wellness business idea to a panel of Wellness Sharks who are top business leaders and investors in wellness. The Wellness Sharks will ask questions of the students, who will defend their innovations and make a business case for its feasibility on stage in front of the hundreds of attending Summit delegates—a “who’s who” in the global wellness world from over 50 countries.
Meet the Winner
Judith Nduati, Edinburgh Business School
Meet the Finalists
356 student teams from 22 countries competed to become one of three finalists selected to present their innovative wellness concepts in person at the 2023 Summit
The aspiring entrepreneurs whose innovative wellness business concepts were chosen to be presented in person at the Summit include Sydney DeVilla, from Savannah College of Art and Design (US), Judith Nduati from Edinburgh Business School (UK) and Annie Pham Quynh from Fulbright University Vietnam. In addition to competing for $10,000 in cash prizes, the three students and their sponsoring professors receive airfare and hotel accommodation, and exclusive access to the three-day Summit.
July 31, 2023 (11:59 p.m. US Eastern Time): Competition closes. All submissions, both the Concept Submission Form and video, must be completed by this time. Late submissions will not be accepted.
September 2023: The top three concept submissions, as decided by the judges, will be announced by email to all registered participants. Arrangements will then be made to fly each of the three student finalists and their professors to the annual Global Wellness Summit (GWS).
November 6-9: The Shark Tank of Wellness finalists will present their ideas on stage at the 2023 Global Wellness Summit. Students will pitch their ideas to the judges (a.k.a. “Wellness Sharks”) and the Summit delegates. The first, second and third place winners will then be announced on stage, at which time, the prizes will be awarded. The winners will be listed on the Global Wellness Summit website and promoted on social media post-Summit.
Guidelines & Tips
The Concept Submission Form consists of several questions regarding the wellness idea and its viability, such as:
- Give a general description of your wellness idea.
- Identify and explain your target market and potential customers.
- Identify companies, products or services that compete with your innovation or those that could pose a barrier to entering the marketplace.
- What sets your concept submission apart? How does your innovative idea differentiate from similar products or services already in the marketplace?
- The video should include a presentation of the wellness idea, focusing on why the innovation could positively impact the wellness industry. Please see Official Rules for more information.
- The video must be one-two minutes in length; any videos outside this length will be disqualified.
- Videos must be uploaded to a public platform, such as YouTube, Vimeo or Dailymotion.
- The video must contain only original work and not be subject to any copyright restrictions.
- The competition is open to both individual students and teams of students over the age of 18 from anywhere in the world. There is no entry fee. Note: If participating as a team and the team is chosen as one of the top three finalists, only the team leader will be eligible to attend the Global Wellness Summit with their professor.
- The participant(s) must be an undergraduate college or university student (working toward a one- or two-year diploma, a four-year Bachelor’s degree, or a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification) or a graduate/postgraduate student (working toward a Master’s, MBA, JD, MD or PhD degree) in a university or college of distinction at the time they develop and submit their concept.
- The participant(s) must be either a full-time or part-time student at the university or college.
- The participant(s) must have a professor or faculty advisor who serves as a mentor for their project.
- All contestants must be available to attend the 2023 Global Wellness Summit to present their idea in person.
Shark Tank of Wellness FAQs
Click here for answers to frequently asked questions about the Shark Tank of Wellness global student competition.
First Prize: One (1) first-prize winner will receive US$5,000.
Second Prize: One (1) second-prize winner will receive US$3,000.
Third Prize: One (1) third-prize winner will receive US$2,000.
Total value of all prizes is US$10,000.
Additional noncash prizes include airfare and hotel accommodations in Tel Aviv, Israel, for the top three student finalists (individual or team leader) and their professors. Also included is access to the three-day Summit (a $4,560 value), including all general sessions, breakout discussions and industry forums, featuring global industry leaders. A myriad of social events and a final evening gala are included. This is a priceless opportunity to meet and learn from global visionaries.
Entries will be judged on the following criteria, which will hold equal weight:
- Project innovation
- Visual appeal or design
- Relevance and importance to the wellness industry
- Viability as a business (customer/market analysis and competitors)
- Quality of the project presentation
Judges’ decisions are final.
The competition judging panel is comprised of the Summits’ sponsors, who will play the role of “Wellness Sharks” while students are presenting their business ideas on stage. All “Wellness Sharks” are leading experts in the wellness industry.
Alex von Bidder, Chairperson, Board of Directors, Rancho La Puerta, United States
Alex is a Swiss-American hospitality professional. He has been a long-time board chair of Rancho La Puerta, the award-winning Wellness Resort and Spa in Baja, Mexico. Alex was also the co-owner of the world-famous Four Seasons Restaurant in New York.
Frank Pitsikalis, VP Strategy, Agilysys, Canada
Frank unifies the needs of hospitality organizations with technology advancements as SVP, Product Strategy for Agilysys (AGYS). Frank joined the Agilysys leadership team in January 2022 when the company acquired ResortSuite, the hospitality software company he founded in 2000. Frank is a thought leader in wellness hospitality technology. He has served 15 years on the ISPA Board (8 as Foundation Chairman) and has attended/sponsored 15 Global Wellness Summits.
Heinrich Morio, General Manager, Zulal, Qatar
Heinrich brings over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, having worked across various hotels in different markets, including Europe, the United States, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Over the years, he has worked in many different functions in operations, giving him hands-on knowledge across a variety of areas, allowing him to train staff and implement new procedures to ensure guests have a memorable experience. This in-depth experience puts him in a solid position to deliver positive business results and tangible outcomes for Zulal Wellness Resort, ensuring guests have the same transformational experience they have come to the Chiva-Som standard.