Skip To Main Content

Student Entrepreneurs Go Before the Sharks

A personalized shopping experience to send a care package to a child in college, wellness health shots to bring more accessibility to healthy snacking, an app to serve as a NIL marketplace for collegiate athletes, and a water tracking device and app. These are the four “startups” students in the Upper School Entrepreneurial Studies class pitched to real business investors in a format similar to the popular TV show “Shark Tank.”

Our Country Day sharks, Rebecca Watson and Keith Leudeman, were gentler than celebrity shark Kevin O’Leary, but they also asked tough questions that tested the students’ knowledge of acquisition costs, valuations, and competition.

Learning by Doing

In this hands-on course, the learning and work are project and team-based, and the learning happens through doing. Early on, students work with selected local businesses, that present real business problems and firm deadlines. The program requires work to be done inside and outside of class, and students learn start-up business models and develop marketing, finance, and prototyping skills by visiting businesses, researching, observing, interviewing, and learning ways to validate their solutions.

Steve WallAssistant Dean of Students

The ability to watch students work alongside different teams over time and present their pitches and solutions to business owners is always a treat. They are learning how to collaborate, research, problem solve, think critically, be creative, and present effectively.