Posted: Monday, June 1, 2015

Sevier Middle Students Experience "Shark Tank" Challenge to Develop Businesses

Eight teams of seventh graders from Sevier Middle School had the opportunity to pitch their ideas for a gift basket start-up company in a “Shark Tank” environment to three judges who represented local businesses. The judges were John Moore, Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Armen Allahverdian, Vice-President of Digital Marketing for ChartSpan, and Mat Hultquist, CEO of The Hultquist Accounting Firm. The event was moderated by Jon-Michial Carter, CEO of ChartSpan.

Each team was comprised of a CEO for Technology, a Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Marketing Directors, and Human Resources Directors. Students decided which role they would like to pursue. The teams were given $250,000 to develop a one-year business plan for a start-up company for gift baskets.

“We care about the substance, the ideas. We want to understand what you’ve done over the past few weeks to launch a successful company,” said Mr. Carter. “The judges are going to listen to your pitches and read your business plans. The most valuable part will be after your presentation when the judges will ask questions about your plan.”

The students spent two weeks in the classroom organizing their teams, assigning responsibilities, developing ideas, and researching facts for their business plans. Mr. Carter presented students on each of the winning teams with a certificate of achievement.

First Place, Soaps and Sweets
CEO - Grace Brackett
CFO - Lydia Flackett
Marketing Directors - Hallie Ward and Alex Vazquez
Human Resource Directors - Judasha Jones and Levi Conway

Second Place, Gift Baskets to Go
CEO - Thomas Vernon
CFO - Sam Evans and Libby Harvey
Marketing Directors - Addie Hudson, Tyrese Robinson
Human Resources Directors - Bella Keller, Malikiah Durham

Third Place, Gift Baskets for Generations
CEO - Jonathan Brennan
CFO - David Calixto-Moreno, Tony Garrett
Marketing Directors - Kassie Baxley, Mackenzie Clinch
Human Resources Director - Caroline Bechtold

Top Competitive Teams
Baskets for a Cure, Caveman Gift Baskets, Bussiney, Build Ya Basket, and Baby Basket Express.


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