Monday, June 30, 2014

Mock 'Shark Tank' tests business skills of Mission Bay High students

From GPS pet trackers, counting basketballs and Powdered toe pad for ballerinas, Mission Bay High School business students created some interesting products during their Business 100 classes this year.

But before completing the class, they had to sell their new inventions to a room full of sharks.Presentation

With a lesson based on the Shark Tank television show, the students had to "sell" their products to investors. On the ABC television show, aspiring entrepreneurs, franchise and features businesspersons pitch to a panel of potential investors. Like the show, students presented their products or services and hoped for mock financial assistance with their businesses in exchange for equity.
This year’s inventions include:
  • Find my Pet: LED and GPS enabled dog collar to track pet day and night;
  • Ispraya: basketball that keeps track of how many shots made/missed;
  • OnCore: a training sleeve that goes on baseball bats and tracks where the ball hits the bat;
  • Sole Savers: indoor shoe grip spray to help traction for all indoor athletes;
  • Quick Button Fix: a temporary fix for losing a button on clothes;
  • Full Tilt Coolers: sports cooler with an internal slant so tilting the cooler when near empty is no longer necessary;
  • Culinary Stick: a universal wooden spatula stick with replaceable cooking heads;
  • Abrupt Bearings: water and sand resistant skateboard bearings;
  • Sports Tech: laser sensors for marking perimeters of sports playing fields;
  • D&I Innovations (Product: PowderPuffs): Powdered toe pad for ballerinas;
  • The Changeable Brim: universal hat with changeable brims;
  • Travelr: phone application that enables users to find any form of public transportation and taxis
Students began the Shark Tank project by assuming the role of an entrepreneur tasked with devising a proprietary, practical invention that can be a product or service. They spent months developing a business plan for their invention while, along the way, learning important business concepts from the course outline such as starting and operating a small business, human resources, finances, accounting, and marketing. The class included instruction in economics, business ethics, leadership, management, the role of government in business, and developing a career plan.

At the project's completion, students created a prototype and pitched their invention to real business owners, just like on the show. In developing their inventions, students learned about the importance of legally protecting their company via a patent, and protecting their logo and tagline with a trademark. They learned the costs associated with leasing a space to conduct business operations. Additionally, they used Common Core staples of critical thinking and problem solving to determine their cost of goods sold, distribution methods, marketing tactics and total start-up funds that would be required to launch their businesses. Skills learned in English class were reinforced, in that each Shark Tank assignment was accepted only if there were no spelling, grammar or punctuation errors.

Business 100 is a Career Technical Education course in the Business and Finance Industry Sector supported by the Office of College, Career & Technical Education. For more information, contact David West, CCTE Teacher, at