LLCC students impress business leaders in “Shark Tank” exercise

Welcome to the Shark Tank Project signStudents enrolled in the Introduction to Business class impressed a panel of local business leaders in a recent “Shark Tank” exercise. The students pitched ideas, presented financial plans and sought investment from the “Sharks” for unique businesses selling scented bracelets, nachos, technology support and hunting experiences. The panel evaluated the viability of the business plans and indicated if they were worthy of investment.

Five local business leaders in a Shark Tank exercise

Members of the panel were Lisa Shafer, vice president, operations, Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce; Todd Weir, assistant vice president of lending, INB; Drew Kenny, assistant team leader/realtor, Kathy Garst Sales Team, The Real Estate Group; Adrienne Murphy, secretary/treasurer, and Brian Murphy, president, Vancil-Murphy Funeral Home.

Instructor Darlene Sim emphasized that whether or not the Sharks chose to “invest” in the businesses, their expertise and advice would benefit all of the students.

Newscent Shark Tank teamStudents Claudia Blanford of Jacksonville, Richetta Holmes (Team Lead) of Springfield, Luke Kracik of Springfield, Nathan Walker of Carrollton and Jack Hirlinger of Springfield, proposed a business in Chicago that manufactured scented bracelets.

The rubber bracelets would come in several colors and be infused with various scents for females and males. The target audience would be ages 4-college age. One Shark was willing to partially invest if they would consider targeting a 4-preteen age group.

Nacho Stop Shark Tank teamMarc Kirbach of Springfield, Reece Warren of Springfield and Caleb Collins-Taapken (Team Lead) of Springfield (Isaac Drum of Rochester not pictured) proposed a fast-casual restaurant called Nacho Stop. They envisioned starting the business in Texas and targeting college students and millennials. However, the Sharks declined to invest, recommending the students locate the business closer to home and start smaller, perhaps with a food truck.

iHelp Shark Tank TeamCora Brillhart of Springfield, Richard Tego of Raymond, Filip Kates of Nokomis, Haley Gibson (Team Lead) of Petersburg and Arti Desai of Jacksonville posed the question, “Have a techache?” As a solution, they proposed a business called iHelp offering technology classes with a target audience of older adults. Three levels of classes – beginner, intermediate and advanced – would be offered, along with individual assistance with tech support. The Sharks recommended they not focus only on older adults and emphasize individual assistance more than classes.

B&M Farms Shark Tank TeamDavid Everson of Springfield, Nathan Meyer of Jacksonville, Adam Gleason of Pleasant Plains, Sofia Torricelli (Team Lead) of Springfield and Alexis Bryant of Athens proposed a hunting experience in Texas called G & M Farms. Individuals would pay to hunt wild pigs and deer on the property on either guided or unguided tours. The students sought investment to build a barn-type structure with four bedrooms so hunters could spend the night. One Shark was willing to invest in this business, recommending that they use some of the funds to purchase a helicopter.

“The students have worked the entire semester on this project and were very excited about it,” said Sim. Dr. Victor Broderick, dean of social sciences and business, added, “In my estimation, the Shark Tank event was wildly successful, actually launched some entrepreneurs, the panelists were outstanding, and even students who didn’t get funded learned a lot.”

Constitution Day presentation today. 11 a.m.

Matthew Schownir, Ph.D., assistant professor of history, is giving a presentation today, Sept. 17, at 11 a.m. titled, “Constitution Day 2021: Are We in a Constitutional Crisis?” The presentation is available via Zoom at

Constitution Day Events. 11 am-12 pm Webinar via Zoom with meeting ID number 881 3435 5467. 12 p.m-1:30 Pop a Fun Fact (free popcorn) in the Commons. 12 pm-5 pm Constitution Day Quiz in the Lincoln Landing app.In addition, LLCC Student Life will be hosting the following activities:

  • From noon to 1:30 p.m., Student Life staff members will be in A. Lincoln Commons for the Pop a Fun Fact event. Students can enjoy some popcorn and learn about not-so-common Constitutional facts.
  • Students can check out the Lincoln Landing App’s News Feed for a Constitution Day Quiz from noon to 5 p.m. They can test their knowledge and are sure to learn something new!

If you have questions, contact Kyle Roughan, student engagement coordinator, at

Business Operations Facilitator Certificate available this fall

LLCC is offering a new business operations facilitator certificate beginning this fall. The program can be completed in two semesters and provides an introduction to business and accounting principles and an in-depth exploration of business software applications.

“This certificate is designed for students interested in careers as scheduler/production clerks and office support assistants. Responsibilities of the business operations facilitator center around keeping the business operations running smoothly by coordinating people, resources, time and customers,” says Dr. Victor Broderick, dean of social sciences and business at LLCC. “It can be fast-paced with no two days exactly the same.”

Completed certificate classes can also be applied toward LLCC’s business management associate in applied science degree if students wish to continue their education.

Fall semester registration at LLCC is underway and open through Aug. 21. Text 217-292-7874 to find out how to get started. Learn more about LLCC’s business programs at

LLCC named in top Illinois online criminal justice programs

Illinois Top 10 Criminal Justice Programs. CriminalJusticeDegreeHub.comLLCC has been named a top college in Illinois for online criminal justice programs by Criminal Justice Degree Hub in its recently published “10 Best Online Criminal Justice Programs in Illinois for 2021.” LLCC is ranked No. 10.

An announcement of the rankings states, “An online criminal justice degree program from one of Illinois’ colleges and universities helps working professionals make advances in their career … Students who need flexibility in their education due to work obligations are well-served.”

“LLCC offers online options for the associate in arts and associate in applied science degrees in criminal justice,” explains Becky Parton, dean of academic innovation and eLearning at LLCC. “Our faculty receive intensive training in online teaching, and with a low student-to-faculty ratio, our online students receive personal attention in their classes.”

For 24 years, LLCC has provided affordable, high quality courses online and maintains the highest level of accreditation for online teaching from the Higher Learning Commission.

Education Career Fair Tuesday

Know of LLCC students interested in a teaching career? Encourage them to attend the LLCC Education Career Day virtual event Tuesday, Feb 23, 9-11 a.m. to speak to representatives of various transfer schools offering bachelor degrees in education, including Western Illinois, Eastern Illinois, Greenville and Quincy Universities; Illinois College and Blackburn College.

Meeting ID: 891 6832 0102
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 891 6832 0102

Info session tonight on social science and business majors

LLCC Social Sciences and BusinessProspective students are invited to an info session this evening at 5 p.m. to learn about majors in social sciences and business. Please encourage any prospective students you know to sign up at

LLCC Transportation and IndustrialThe next session will take place tomorrow, Oct. 13, 5:30 p.m., and will feature programs in LLCC’s Transportation and Industrial Centers of Excellence.

These info sessions are a part of October’s Moving Forward to LLCC events, which include virtual info sessions, a campus cruise and more!