Village Scholarships: What Happened After Shark Tank

Village Scholarships: What Happened After Shark Tank

In the wake of their appearance on Shark Tank, the founders of Village Scholarships, Antonio and Tasha Adams, embarked on a journey to revolutionize education financing. Despite their initial pitch generating interest, the platform faced unexpected challenges, leading to its eventual closure in 2016.

This article delves into the post-Shark Tank trajectory of Village Scholarships, exploring the reasons behind its closure, examining the impact on students and donors, and shedding light on the lessons learned from the venture’s highs and lows. Join us in unraveling the untold story of Village Scholarships and understanding the aftermath of their entrepreneurial endeavor.

What Is Village Scholarships:

The premise of Village Scholarships is simple yet powerful. It allows students to create campaigns and seek donations from friends, family, and the public to fund their education. This innovative approach acknowledges that there is a ‘village’ around every student – a community of people who are invested in their success. By tapping into this network, Village Scholarships provides an alternative to traditional scholarships and loans [1].

What Is Village Scholarships:

Village Scholarships operates as a crowd-sourced platform dedicated to providing scholarships for higher education students through public donations. Students in need of financial assistance initiate the process by creating an account and launching a campaign on the platform.

How Does It Work?

Upon commencement, students have the option to disclose the institution to which the funds will be directed and outline their existing living challenges within their campaign. Village Scholarships donors then have the opportunity to contribute, with the added benefit of potential matching contributions for eligible campaigns. Once the required amount is attained, the funds are seamlessly transferred directly to the student’s chosen college [2].

The launch of Village Scholarships can be traced back to Denver, Colorado, where Antonio Adams laid its foundations. Antonio achieved academic excellence, graduating with honors from Metropolitan State University of Denver and earning a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication, a testament to his commitment to education.

Post-graduation, Antonio accrued valuable experience through roles in various companies, notably in marketing and product planning. Some of the distinguished firms he contributed to include Arrow Electronics, AspenCore, Bark, and Network for Good. This diverse professional background positions Antonio Adams as a seasoned entrepreneur with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the fields of communication, marketing, and strategic planning.

What To Expect From The Village Scholarships Experience:

  1. Modernizing Education Financing:

Village Scholarships boldly steps into the 21st century, harnessing the power of crowdfunding to revolutionize the way students secure financial aid. By connecting contributors directly with students in need, the platform eliminates the intermediaries and bureaucratic hurdles often associated with traditional scholarship models.

  1. Expanding the Village Network:

A distinctive aspect of Village Scholarships is its emphasis on community building. Upon registering, users become part of the expanding Village Network, fostering a sense of shared responsibility for education. This network not only facilitates financial transactions but also creates a supportive community for students and donors alike [3].

  1. Tailored Crowdfunding Solutions:

The platform considers both students and donors in its design, offering a tailored crowdfunding solution. Students can pool funds from family, friends, and donors, accelerating the achievement of their financial objectives. This cooperative approach sets Village Scholarships apart from conventional financing methods.

  1. Transparent Tracking and Goal Setting:

Village Scholarships provides a robust database tool, allowing students to track their fundraising initiatives. The tool facilitates connections with potential donors and helps in setting realistic and attainable goals. Additionally, students can apply for scholarships and contests organized by external organizations through the platform.

  1. Customizable Scholarships:

Donors on Village Scholarships have the flexibility to create scholarships tailored to a wide range of interests. Whether it’s for a specific school, major, or career path, donors can align their contributions with their passions. The option for multi-year awards adds a layer of continuity and sustained support for students.

  1. Tax Benefits and Long-Term Membership:

Village Scholarships not only finance student education but also provide donors with tax benefits. The platform encourages users to create free profiles to initiate the fundraising process, with donor accounts active for a lifetime and student profiles active for the duration of their college tenure. Both parties can enjoy the long-term benefits of membership in the Village Network.

  1. Premium Services for Early Registrants:

Early registrants on Village Scholarships are offered premium services. By filling out a short form on the homepage, students can access additional benefits. Subscribing to the official mailing list ensures that students receive updates on all Village Scholarship opportunities, creating a more informed and engaged user base.



One of the significant advantages of Village Scholarships is the accessibility it provides. Unlike traditional scholarships, which often have stringent eligibility criteria, Village Scholarships is open to all students. This inclusivity is particularly beneficial for students from disadvantaged backgrounds or those with unconventional education paths.

Community Engagement

Village Scholarships also fosters a sense of community engagement. It allows friends, family, and even strangers to contribute directly to a student’s future. This direct involvement can foster stronger connections between the student and their “village”.

Financial Transparency

Another positive aspect of Village Scholarships is the financial transparency it provides. Donors can see exactly where their money is going, which can be a strong motivating factor for people to donate.

What To Expect From The Village Scholarships Experience


Dependence on Others

However, the model of Village Scholarships does have some drawbacks. One of the main concerns is the dependence it places on others. While it’s great to have a supportive community, not all students have this luxury. This reliance on others could potentially exclude students who lack a strong support network.

Uncertainty of Funding

Another potential downside is the uncertainty of funding. Unlike loans or scholarships, which usually guarantee a certain amount of funding, the success of a Village Scholarships campaign largely depends on the generosity of others. This variability can make it difficult for students to plan their finances.

Privacy Concerns

Lastly, privacy concerns may arise as students are required to share their stories and financial needs publicly to attract donations. For some, this exposure could be a deterrent.

Who May Benefit From Using?

  1. Students in Need of Financial Assistance:
  • Target Demographic: Undergraduate and graduate students facing financial barriers to education;
  • Benefits: Village Scholarships provides a lifeline for students struggling with tuition costs. By leveraging the crowdfunding model, students can reach out to family, friends, and a broader community to secure the funds needed for their education. The platform’s user-friendly interface and tracking tools make it accessible for students of varying technological backgrounds [4];
  1. Donors and Philanthropists:
  • Target Demographic: Individuals, organizations, and philanthropists interested in directly supporting students’ educational pursuits;
  • Benefits: Village Scholarships offers a direct and personal connection between donors and students. This model enables donors to contribute to specific individuals or causes, aligning their philanthropic efforts with their values and interests. The transparent tracking system ensures that every dollar donated goes directly to the intended beneficiary, providing a tangible and accountable giving experience;
  1. Community Members and Supporters:
  • Target Demographic: Community members, friends, and family members of students seeking financial assistance;
  • Benefits: Village Scholarships turns education financing into a collective effort. Community members can actively contribute to the academic success of local students, fostering a sense of shared responsibility. This engagement not only supports students financially but also creates a supportive network around them, enhancing the overall educational experience;
  1. Early Registrants and Premium Service Users:
  • Target Demographic: Students who register early on the platform and opt for premium services;
  • Benefits: Early registrants gain access to premium services, potentially giving them a competitive edge in fundraising. These services may include additional tools, resources, or personalized support to enhance their crowdfunding campaigns. Being part of the Village Scholarships community from the outset allows users to fully capitalize on the platform’s features and opportunities;
  1. Educational Institutions and Organizations:
  • Target Demographic: Schools, colleges, and educational organizations interested in supporting their students
  • Benefits: Village Scholarships can serve as a supplementary funding source for educational institutions. By encouraging students to utilize the platform, institutions can tap into a new avenue for financial support. Additionally, Village Scholarships allows donors to create scholarships specifically for certain schools, majors, or career paths, fostering a more targeted approach to financial aid;
  1. Nonprofit Organizations and Scholarship Providers:
  • Target Demographic: Nonprofits and organizations dedicated to supporting education and student success;
  • Benefits: Village Scholarships provides an additional platform for nonprofit organizations to extend their reach and impact. These entities can collaborate with the platform to create and promote scholarships aligned with their missions. This collaborative approach expands the pool of resources available for students and enhances the overall effectiveness of educational philanthropy;

About Founders Of Village Scholarships

Antonio Adams and Tasha Adams serve as the originators of Village Scholarships. They established Village Scholarships, an entity designed to aid students in initiating campaigns for funding their college tuition, alongside their sibling, Tasha [5].

The Village Scholarships platform establishes connections between student and donor profiles, facilitating the aggregation of donations and the establishment of scholarships. It also streamlines the direct transfer of funds to colleges, universities, and various educational institutions. The overarching objective is to broaden the reach of financial assistance and enable more students to access higher education.

Adams comprehends the challenges associated with financing a college education, particularly given his journey through five different colleges at the University of Colorado in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. Following high school, Antonio received recruitment offers from prestigious institutions such as Stanford University, the Air Force Academy, Dartmouth College, and Brown University, losing two basketball scholarships due to injuries.

About Founders Of Village Scholarships

His sister, Tasha, pursues her Ph.D. in optical sciences at the University of Arizona, supported by a full scholarship. The genesis of Village Scholarships occurred after Antonio faced the setback of losing an athletic scholarship due to a disability that prevented him from participating. This adversity prompted him to explore alternative avenues for funding his education.

Dissatisfied with conventional funding channels, Antonio delved into the realm of crowdfunding platforms. Fueled by the belief that traditional methods lacked a certain element, he, alongside the support of his sister Tasha, actualized the creation of Village Scholarships — an innovative crowdfunding platform tailored to the specific needs of students navigating the challenges of financing their education.

The Pitch Of Village Scholarships At Shark Tank

Antonio and Tasha Adams entered the Shark Tank, introducing themselves as twins hailing from Denver, Colorado, and proudly presenting their brainchild, “Village Scholarships”. Their pitch sought $ 125,000 in exchange for a 10% equity stake in their innovative business. Tasha empathetically highlighted the challenging aspect of financing college for teenagers, asserting that Village Scholarships had a viable solution to this predicament [6].

Antonio elaborated on the crowdfunding platform’s premise, describing it as a means for people within a student’s network to contribute funds, with the added allure of these donations being matched by caring individuals. The dynamic duo, with a unique synergy, shared details of the platform’s functionalities, showcasing a sample website on the big screen. Antonio emphasized that the platform allowed students to create profiles, detailing their educational pursuits, major, and tuition costs, and empowered them to share their crowdfunding links selectively within their social circles.

As the Sharks probed into the viability and business model of Village Scholarships, Robert questioned if it was merely a means for friends and family to give money. Antonio clarified that while the platform had elements of a traditional crowdfunding site, it incorporated the unique feature of matching donations, creating a distinct value proposition. Kevin inquired about the platform’s user base, prompting Antonio to reveal that the website was still in the conceptual phase, yet to be launched or generate revenue.

Concerns were raised about the 8.5% service fee proposed by Village Scholarships. Kevin and Mark expressed disbelief at the seemingly high fee, leading to a spirited defense from Antonio, who argued that it was a standard rate for the services provided. Chris drew comparisons with other crowdfunding platforms, questioning the added value offered by Village Scholarships.

Robert pressed for clarity on the primary competitive advantage of Village Scholarships, to which Antonio pointed to the fund-matching feature. The confusion escalated when Robert questioned whether strangers would indeed match funds donated by friends and family. Antonio clarified that students would invite known individuals to donate to their cause, emphasizing the personal connection.

Chris, expressing concern about the scattered pitch, noted that Village Scholarships seemed to be juggling multiple business concepts simultaneously. He stressed the need for focus and, consequently, opted out of the potential investment. Kevin and Robert also exited the deal, citing concerns about the platform’s fee structure and the project’s early stage.

Lori acknowledged the interesting nature of the idea but voiced reservations about the entrepreneurs being at the beginning of the process. She suggested the possibility of integration with a similar app and, while intrigued, decided to pass on an investment.

Mark, recognizing the merit in the concept, stated that the entrepreneurs had come too early in the development stage for him to consider an investment. Despite the encouragement, he also opted out. The entrepreneurs left the tank appreciative of the feedback, pledging to use it to enhance their business.

The Pitch Of Village Scholarships At Shark Tank

In the closing remarks, Kevin and Mark expressed skepticism about the feasibility of the 8% fee proposed by Village Scholarships, indicating that it was not relevant at the current stage of the project. The pitch concluded with the twins exiting the Shark Tank, reflecting on the valuable insights garnered from the experience.

Village Scholarships After The Shark Tank

The Village Scholarships founders, Antonio and Tasha Adams, departed from the Shark Tank without securing an investment deal. Initially appearing to center their efforts on Village Scholarships, it became evident that the platform lacked a robust business plan essential for long-term sustainability.

In the aftermath, it seems the founders, the Adams twins, may have lost their focus and connection to the roots of Village Scholarships. The platform’s business trajectory was further hampered by a lack of a strong online presence. Social media platforms associated with Village Scholarships have a minimal following, with sporadic updates posted at lengthy intervals [7].

Notably, the Village Scholarships website is no longer operational, contributing to the sense that the program faced challenges in materializing as planned, with Antonio mentioning its anticipated commencement in the summer of 2016 but encountering delays as the season progressed.

The Net Worth Of Village Scholarships

Throughout and following the presentation, the enterprise garnered a valuation of $ 1.25 million. Subsequently, the business has ceased its operations, rendering the current financial standing of the company uncertain [8].

The website had ceased operations, and the social media accounts remained inactive for approximately a year.

The concept faced challenges from the outset, primarily because of the saturation of alternative crowdfunding platforms.

Although the idea of crowdfunding education expenses isn’t novel, exemplified by platforms like HoneyFund and PlumFund, the intense competition in this realm necessitated a distinctive offering to stand out.

Alternatives To Village Scholarships:

Traditional Scholarship Platforms:

  • Examples: Fastweb,, Chegg Scholarships;
  • Features: These platforms aggregate a wide range of scholarship opportunities based on criteria such as academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and personal characteristics. They often connect students with scholarships offered by corporations, foundations, and educational institutions;

Crowdfunding Platforms:

  • Examples: GoFundMe, Kickstarter, Indiegogo;
  • Features: General crowdfunding platforms allow individuals to create campaigns for various purposes, including education. Students can present their financial needs, and friends, family, and the online community can contribute funds. While not specialized for education, these platforms offer flexibility and reach;

The Net Worth Of Village Scholarships

Student Loan Platforms:

  • Examples: Sallie Mae, SoFi, Earnest;
  • Features: For those willing to take on loans, private student loan providers offer financial assistance. While students are required to repay the borrowed amount with interest, these platforms provide immediate funds to cover tuition and other educational expenses;

Employer Tuition Assistance Programs:

  • Examples: Various employers and companies;
  • Features: Many employers offer tuition assistance or reimbursement programs as part of their employee benefits. Students working for these companies may receive financial support for pursuing higher education or skill development relevant to their job;

Government Grants and Scholarships:

  • Examples: Federal Pell Grant, FAFSA, State-based scholarship programs;
  • Features: Governments at various levels provide grants and scholarships to eligible students based on financial need, academic merit, or specific criteria. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a common step in accessing government-sponsored financial aid;


  1. Is Village Scholarships still in operation?

As of 2023, Village Scholarships is no longer in operation. The platform ceased its operations in 2016, and the website is no longer accessible.

  1. What was the total number of persons engaged in Village Scholarships?

The specific number of individuals engaged with Village Scholarships is not publicly disclosed. However, the platform aimed to connect students, donors, and contributors in a community-driven approach to facilitate financial assistance for higher education.

  1. What is Village Scholarships’ vision?

Village Scholarships envisioned transforming the financing of education by creating a community-driven platform where contributors could directly support students in need. The goal was to make higher education more accessible by leveraging crowdfunding and fostering a sense of shared responsibility within the Village Network.

  1. What are Village Scholarships’ products and services?

Village Scholarships offered a crowdfunding platform where students could create campaigns to fund their college tuition. The platform aimed to connect students with family, friends, and donors who could contribute to their educational expenses. It facilitated the transfer of funds directly to colleges, universities, and educational institutions.

  1. How did Village Scholarships generate revenue?

Village Scholarships planned to generate revenue through service fees. The proposed business model included charging a service fee of 8.5% of the total amount raised by the student through crowdfunding campaigns.

  1. Was Village Scholarships a for-profit or a non-profit organization?

Village Scholarships operated as a for-profit organization. While the platform aimed to assist students in financing their education, it employed a business model that involved charging service fees for the services provided to students and donors.

What is Village Scholarships’ vision?

  1. Where is the location of Village Scholarships?

Village Scholarships is headquartered in Chicago.

  1. What products and services do Village Scholarships offer?

Village Scholarships specializes solely in educational financing through scholarships. The platform adopts a one-to-one donation matching approach, ensuring that students’ contributions are matched, and notably, it refrains from imposing any fees.

  1. Who is the intended audience for Village Scholarships?

Village Scholarships caters to both students and benefactors. Students can create profiles, highlight their achievements, and apply for financial assistance. On the other hand, benefactors have the opportunity to directly contribute to scholarship campaigns initiated by students.

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