April 22, 2024

On Thursday, May 30, High School West hosted its first Shark Tank Competition, modeled after ABC’s popular reality show. The competition focuses on providing students with an opportunity to introduce their own innovation to the school. 25 team projects were critiqued and ranked based on its novelty and the presentation of the product to a panel of judges.

“It was an amazing experience to win such a prestigious competition; it completely exceeded my expectations. Although it was just its first year, the Shark Tank competition was well organized and allowed us students to showcase all our hard work with our products. We had the opportunity to pitch our respective inventions to a panel of distinguished judges, or “Sharks.” I appreciate all the diligent effort that the business partnership members put into making this whole competition possible and I am very grateful for their expertise and insight,” said junior Harris Durkovic.

After hours upon hours of presentation, 5 teams were awarded with distinguished awards and scholarship money. First place was awarded to Umer Chaudry, Harris Durkovic, and Ryan Hallock for their idea of the “Purpose Paste,” a toothpaste that wakes the user up in the morning. Following in second was Carley Scaraviglione, Skylar Schneider, and Nicole Rivera’s original idea, the “Sprush,” a hairbrush with different purposes on each end. Third place was given to “Track the Truck” by Joanna Herns, Lea Silverman, and Justin Verhaaren, an application that allows people to track various food trucks on a virtual map. Fourth was presented to Zack Jayson and Steven Reilly for the “Dial#d In,” which allows its user to make phone calls in the car by utilizing holographic images. Finally, fifth place was awarded to the “Cha Cha Charge,” as presented by Brandon Epstein, Jessica Greenhut, and Samantha Greenhut, a device that charges a phone according to its movement sensors.

“This competition has definitely encouraged me to take our product to the next level and turn this vision into a reality. After speaking to various experienced and insightful business partnership members, I have already learned so much about the marketing aspect of our product and am extremely eager to learn more. With this competition came a multitude of opportunities for our product’s future and we are extremely excited to delve into the tricky business industry,” commented Durkovic, “Special thanks to Jon Greenhut, CEO of NutriCap Labs, for the prize money donations, and special thanks to Mr. Gannon for organizing the whole competition and making this experience as great as possible. This event was such a success and I can’t wait for what next year’s [event].”