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Salisbury hosts ‘Shark Tank’ audition

Salisbury University is hosting an open audition Friday for aspiring entrepreneurs jostling to appear on “Shark Tank,” an ABC TV series showing contestants pitching business ideas to investors.

Salisbury’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business is partnering with 47 ABC, the local station, to host the casting call, which will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Perdue Hall. The reality show’s casting, Mindy Zemrak, will supervise the filmed audition.

The audition, which will have a format similar to the actual show, is open to entrepreneurs from across the country, not just Maryland. They will have one minute to pitch their business, product or idea before answering a few questions.

Participants should also bring a completed application packet, which can be found at this website, along with other audition locations.

The other auditions on the schedule are in much larger and more well-known cities than Salisbury.

Walk-in auditions are fine. To schedule a specific audition time, contact Theresa Patrick at 410-742-4747, ext. 346. For more information, call Kathleen McLain, the general manager for 47 ABC, at 410-742-4747, ext. 303.

Also on Friday, Salisbury will host the second round of its Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery program, a business competition for entrepreneurs in the mid-Atlantic region.

The Shore Hatchery program provides as much as $200,000 a year in start-up and expansion money for winners, as well as mentoring opportunities from a board of business leaders, such as Jim Perdue, chairman of Salisbury-based Perdue Farms Inc.

The five-year program was funded by a $1 million grant last year from the Baltimore-based Phillip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation. The goal is for new businesses to open within six months and to employ at least five people within a year.

The Shore Hatchery board of directors selects recipients based on multi-round presentations. Graduates of two- and four-year colleges who reside in this region are eligible.  Read about last year’s winners here.

This year, nine competitors are vying for a chunk of the $125,000 pool of prize money. Winners will be announced later Friday afternoon.