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Half Hollow Hills’ First Shark Tank Event


Half Hollow Hills’ first ever Shark Tank event will be taking place on May 30th.  Shark Tank is a popular television show in which 5 sharks or billionaire investors look to invest in various businesses. These businesses have to market their product or service to persuade these sharks to invest in them. Hills West business teacher Mr. Gannon was given this Shark Tank idea by a fellow business partner of the School to Business Partnership. The business partner, a fan of the show Shark Tank, had the idea of introducing the competition to the school to give students a chance to develop marketing skills and creativity.  Mr. Gannon spread this idea around the two high schools, looking to “enhance the marketing minds to ultimately give students the opportunity to showcase unique ideas and inventions.”

The competition is composed of teams of 2-4 students who will develop a unique product or service, and create a sales pitch for “investors” to display the benefits and characteristics of the creation. The ten investors, according to Mr. Gannon, consist of local business partners, patent attorneys, and business teachers. There are strict deadlines that the teams have to meet, including registration by April 1st or 2nd. There are also many mentoring days, where the teams can receive help in their marketing plans. The final competition will take place on Thursday, May 30th in the Half Hollow Hills West Auditorium. As an incentive, the competition is offering prizes of scholarship money and plaques for 1st to 5th place winners.  In addition, all participants will receive a t-shirt.

This event seems to be very popular among the students. Mr. Gannon estimated that around 120 students are involved in the competition. 40 of the students are from East and 80 are from West.  “This is a really fun new idea. I think it will turn out to be a huge success. As for us, we aren’t sure of what we are going to do yet, but we are absolutely interested in participating,” stated sophomores Devin Dubin and Josh Wende who are working together as a team. Junior Josh Bainnson is also planning on participating. While he kept his idea classified, he commented, “I think that my team will do very well. We have a great idea. Really, it is just a matter of properly marketing and presenting it!”  “I think this is a great idea, and I am happy I get to witness it before I graduate. While I am not going to participate in it because business isn’t my area of interest, I like that the school is trying unique ways to get students interested,” added senior Reid Barnowitz.

While many students are interested from a business perspective, some like the idea simply because they think it will be fun to participate in an event modeled after a TV show.  “I am looking forward to this because I really like the show. I enjoy seeing new ideas and how they present them on the show, so I think it will be fun to do the same thing,” explained sophomore Kanvar Gulati. Many students are excited about this unique opportunity, and are using it to develop their creative abilities and marketing skills.

Based on Shark Tank, this Half Hollow Hills event is rapidly taking over the school. Many students are taking advantage of this competition to develop creative and innovative products. By now, all teams should have their product and company name registered. Good luck to all those participating!