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Scorp Tank: Business Leaders Shape Student Ideas
"Scorp Tank gives the students the opportunity to solve real world problems," said Paul Yingling, Sand Creek High School economics instructor. "Our kids imagined something new, brought it to life and explained it to others. I'm so proud of them."
Scorp Tank is a play off of the popular television show Shark Tank. While every economics student at the District 49 high school developed a business plan, students that volunteered and rehearsed in front of their classmates had an opportunity to pitch their idea to six community business leaders Mar. 2.
The business owners asked Kaitlyn Rausch, pitching "Make Up In Motion", a Halloween and specialty make-up business , if it made more sense from a cost perspective to have employees or sub-contractors in her business model. "Having sub-contractors might make more sense, because there are additional costs for employees, such as insurance and other benefits," said Todd Matia, CEO of Stinky Kid Math and engineering instructor at Sand Creek.
Other business plans included R.A.D. Socks, a company creating custom artwork on socks and Kimmons Cases, a specialty light-weight cell phone case manufacturer. Sherry Owens, owner of First Glimpse Ultrasound in Colorado Springs, focused her questions on how the companies would market their products. "Marketing is such an important part of any business," said Owens, "you have to let potential customers know you are there." Owens said she was impressed that the students took ideas and presented everything needed to start a business.
Noah Hoehn, a freshman at SCHS, was awarded the first place prize of $50 for his neighborhood landscape and snow removal business idea. Recent conversations with his Uncle, a business owner, provided a good example of how to make a business happen.
"Since I'm only 14, I don't have a car," Hoehn asked the panel during his pitch, "Do you have any ideas how I can expand my business to possibly beyond the neighborhood?" Ed Johnson, owner of Colorado Springs Bike Shop, suggested that a bike could be used with a trailer to haul a decent amount of equipment that might allow Hoehn's business to expand to a larger geographical area. "I will do it this summer," Hoehn responded.
"I'm absolutely proud," said Debbie Hoehn, who was in attendance to watch her son. "He put a lot of time and effort into the business, it is so much more than a school project."