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Students Swim With Sharks

BRITTANY SMITH Jon Jee Editor Published: March 23, 2017 10:22 AM
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John Glenn High School is full of creative and innovative students who do not typically get to express their ideas. This year, however, some of their ideas are being displayed in JGHS’s first ever Shark Tank event. Forty-six students from Mrs. Amy Wolford’s business classes, ranging from freshmen to seniors, have been working tirelessly to prepare for this event.

“I was inspired for this event by the show Shark Tank, which we have watched and analyzed. I was also inspired by an event at Zane State called Shark Tub where entrepreneurs get to go before “Sharks” for a $10,000 prize,” explained Mrs. Wolford. “I felt there was no reason we could have a similar event here at JGHS.”

Since the beginning of the second semester, these students have been innovating new product ideas, market testing, perfecting their product pitches, creating prototypes, and marketing materials. These products range from technology to clothing and everything in between.

The event will be set up like a science fair where attendees will be able to walk around and speak with students about their products. Each student had to create a piece of marketing material, which in most cases is a brochure people can pick up and take with them. Attendees will receive $10,000 in “Shark Money” to invest in their favorite idea.

From there, the top five students who earn the most money will be invited on stage to give their product pitches before the “Sharks.” The Sharks will determine a winner based on the quality of the pitches and the student’s knowledge of their product. Every finalist will receive a medal. All of the students are hopeful that their ideas will make it to this final stage and win it all.

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Freshman Brandon Doss had the idea to create a more affordable, quality virtual reality gaming system. “I’ve always liked gaming and video games have always made me happy,” said Doss about his inspiration. “I designed this product to make people as happy as video games have made me.”

To prepare, Doss has determined the graphics card, RAM processor, and other processing details for this gaming console. He has also set a specific price range that is easily affordable for people who don’t have the money to buy the newest, top-notch consoles.

Senior Drew Higgins decided to pitch the idea of a wireless charging purse. “I am tired of bulky cords from portable chargers taking up room in my purse and my phone dies quickly,” commented Higgins on her inspiration for her product. She feels that this has been a great experience and she has learned what it is like to be an entrepreneur and operate your own business.

Senior Maddie Rice always seems to be running late with no time to charge her nearly dead phone. So, she decided that she wanted to create a USB port for on the go. “I would love to be able to charge my phone on the way without worrying about grabbing an adapter, so this idea sounded like the perfect fix.”

Senior Dylan VanFossen is a well-known golfer from JGHS, so it seemed only fitting that his product had to do with golfing. VanFossen’s idea is called the “Tilt Pro,” which is a sensor that attaches to the wrist and picks up the body movements through a swing. He was inspired by Golftec, which he has been going to for 3 years, and he wanted to make it portable. VanFossen is also hoping to get his product into the real market one day.

“This is a product I would really like to see work. This product could give people all the all the training I get at Golftec wherever and whenever they want. This could really help my game and other people’s games,” said VanFossen.

Senior Jessi Brown is always freezing and wears a sweatshirt every day, but is still cold. She decided that her product would be a heated sweatshirt that allows you to do anything while wearing it and staying warm. Her name for this product is “The Warmie.”

Mrs. Wolford had high expectations and goals for this event and her students have followed through. “My goal with this event was to give students a multitude of real-world experiences. They have had to problem-solve, use critical thinking, learn to market their products, and gain public speaking skills. Above all, I wanted students to be able to showcase their hard work and ideas.”

Recently, an executive from a program at Ohio University called TechGROWTH Ohio. The program assists entrepreneurs in bringing their products to market which can be expensive, time-consuming, and confusing if you don’t have the proper assistance. The students gave him their product pitches and he expressed interest in assisting some students with trying to bring their ideas to market. This was crucial to help with preparations for the Shark Tank event and boosted the confidence of many student.

The event will take place at JGHS on March 23 beginning at 6 PM.

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