Mission Bay High School held its version of the popular reality TV series, Shark Tank, during two sessions on January 10th & 11th. The premise of the show is that budding entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of wealthy business people, called “Sharks”, in hopes of securing an investment in their company. Mission Bay High School Business Teacher, David West, organized the event to provide his students with an opportunity to learn a real-life business lesson. Several local business professionals, including YEP Coordinator, Gabriel Reyes, were invited to play the Sharks. Mr. West’s students were paired up and given three weeks to come up with a business concept and basic business plan in preparation for the event. During the event, which was being taped and also broadcast live to the rest of the school, students were given five minutes to present their business idea and try to secure venture capital from the sharks in exchange for equity in their company.
The Sharks listened to 15 pitches from the students for businesses that included restaurants, daycare, clothing stores, solar panel installation, and a youth activity center. Some of the students walked away with investment offers, but all learned valuable business lessons in finance, marketing, and management through the questioning by the Sharks.