Shark Tank Gets Real for Schoolcraft Business Students

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Jager Doorn, Seyanna Smith and Alana Reed work on their solution to the Shark Tank contest that they won.

Schoolcraft High School’s Business Management and Administration (BMA) classes traveled to Davenport University Nov. 14 to participate in its annual Shark Tank event.

Students are given a category and must come up with an innovative idea, according to their teacher, Lori Pelton. This year the category was food and beverage. Davenport University’s professors are the “sharks” and students pitch their idea, the target market and the need for the product to the sharks, similar to the format of the TV reality show of the same name.The sharks then quiz the teams about their ideas.

Teams pitched their ideas to a room full of contenders for round one. The top 10 teams made it to the final round. Schoolcraft sophomores Alana Reed, Seyanna Smith, Jager Doorn, Team ASJ, were the winners.

Their idea was a camp bowl that can be heated or chilled by using a gear attached to a tree. It didn’t seem to fit in the food and beverage category, Pelton said, but judges accepted it.

Students go in to the competition not knowing the category. “They watch a few clips from the show in class,” Pelton said. “We have them practice getting a category and doing a pitch the day before we go, but to have a level playing field for all schools, no one knows the category before we get there.”

About 250 students from Innovation Central, Kent County Tech Center, Hackett Catholic Prep, Kalamazoo Central, Schoolcraft, University Prep Academy competed. Schoolcraft came out the first-place winner.

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