Innovation Challenge: Shark Tank Edition

December 15, 2014

The dream to swim with sharks recently came true for ten high school students in Fort Shark Tank Pic2Collins in early December. There were no dorsal fins, rows of saw blade teeth, or ocean depths involved, however. These students instead were participating in the Innovation Challenge at Fort Collins High School by pitching their entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of business “sharks”.

The Innovation Challenge was open to students in Northern Colorado, ages 13-18, who were seeking to showcase an inventive concept or product that they had created. In addition to the opportunity to hone their presentation and planning skills, prize money to help advance the business efforts was available for the top student participants.

Now in its second year, the Innovation Challenge is coordinated by a small team of students from the Fort Collins High School Advanced Marketing class. The student planning team arranged the applicant review process and event logistics, as well as the promotion and execution of this year’s challenge.

Following an open application period, ten student proposals were selected for the Innovation Challenge. Their business concepts included virtual reality video games, tutoring apps, handmade duck calls, motorized skateboards, silverware adaptable for stroke survivors and many other novel product ideas.

Students were evaluated on their written business plan, as well as their formal presentation to the panel of volunteer judges who offered professional critique, suggestions and compliments to each student. After the final points were tallied, two business savvy students emerged from the Shark Tank with $1,500 in prize money to help further their entrepreneurial ventures.

The OtterCares Foundation was pleased to support this year’s Innovation Challenge at Fort Collins High School with funding provided through the 2014 Get It, Grow It, Give It Challenge (G3). The G3 Challenge is an annual employee fundraising campaign that inspires Otter Products and Blue Ocean Enterprise employees to engage with and support the entrepreneurial and philanthropic mission of the OtterCares Foundation.