Shark Tank nurtures student business ideas


Shark Tank participants Morgan Williams and Parker Daily

Shark Tank is a project that Ms. Lou Ann McKibben’s AP Senior Government and Economics class has been working on for about ten weeks. The project began in the summer during the month of July when every student had to submit a shark tank idea. The ideas were all put into a Google form that every student had to fill out and rate each idea based on how interested they were in it. The top voted eleven ideas were the ideas that were used as shark tank projects. The student that came up with the selected idea was the leader of the group. For the other students, they were put in a group based on how they voted for ideas in the Google form.

Shark Tank participants Morgan Williams and Parker Dail

Once the teams were decided, the students began working on their project. Throughout the ten weeks, they had a different part of the project each week that they were responsible for determining like the minimum viable product or customers segments. The groups had to interview potential customers each week. The number of interviews at first started with five, then increased to ten, finally they had to have fifteen customer interviews by the end of the week.  Every Friday the groups would show the class a PowerPoint which was their progress report on what they had accomplished that week. The groups also had to do marketing research. Based on the information of the customer interviews and suggestions from Ms. McKibben and their classmates, the group adjusted their idea.

The presentation of the shark tank ideas happened on Wednesday, October 25, at Mantle in Fondren. Mantle is a business incubator where people who are starting a business can go and build their idea. Ms. McKibben asked six investors or “sharks” as the students call them, to come and evaluate the group’s ideas. The teams had a total of ten minutes to present their idea, which had to include a powerpoint and a commercial that was two minutes or less. The investors filled out forms for each group and told Ms. McKibben whether or not they would invest in the shark tank idea presented.

Shark Tank members left to right Lindsey Howard, Jordyn Jefcoat, Avery Andress, and Zack Richardson