CU-Mansfield Freshman Wins Big at Husky Dog Pound Competition



By Isabella Folino

Commonwealth University-Bloomsburg recently held its seventh annual Husky Dog Pound Competition, where middle, high school and university-level students compete for cash prizes in a Shark Tank inspired business pitch competition. The event aims to prepare students for real-world marketing and business deals.

At the competition, Jade Selby, a business management in administration major from Commonwealth University-Mansfield, presented her idea, the “Safe Watch,” a product focused on personal safety. The Safe Watch has a breakaway band and a pick-pocket protected clasp that provides a quick, safe and discrete way of contacting the police and the owner’s family without needing to have a phone nearby.

“I once experienced an uncomfortable situation where someone followed me and tried to get me to leave with them in multiple stores,” Selby said. “When I called the police, the situations quickly escalated. I believe if I had been able to be more discrete, the situation never would have been what it was.”

Despite being a first-year student competing against graduating seniors, Selby, the only competitor from CU-Mansfield, finished the day as the fourth-place winner, receiving a $1,300 scholarship.

Commonwealth University students from all campuses, departments and majors were invited to apply to present business pitches at the competition. Students attended three Zoom events leading up to the event, during which presentation skills and expectations were covered. Applications were narrowed down through video submissions and 12 student teams were invited to Bloomsburg to compete in the event.

To reach the in-person presentations, Selby passed two rounds of video submissions describing her business idea. She answered questions such as, “What is your competitive advantage?” and “How do you differentiate yourself from existing competition?” Answering these questions allowed judges to understand her product, as well as granting her the scaffolding to prepare what she will need to consider about her idea moving forward.

Pitches were graded on product marketability, feasibility and profitability, as well as presentation skills. Selby’s successful execution within these categories landed her in the fourth-place position.

“I think more people should participate in the competition,” Selby said. “It is a great experience and I think the earlier in your college experience you try to make that top five, the better.”

The competition was sponsored by the Ziegler College of Business, Matt Zoppetti, president of the Shagrila Development Corporation; and Roxana Zoppetti, owner of La Malbec Bar and Restaurant.

Next year’s competition is set for Thursday, March 27, 2025. For more information, visit