Tallmadge High School business students compete in Shark Tank

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On April 10, five Tallmadge High School students from Kim Brendel's Business Program and Joni Giles' Software Technology courses took the stage to compete in the inaugural Shark Tank event.

Students prepared business plans in advance for their original ideas and presented their concepts for service and product based ventures to six industry leaders. Business instructors Giles and Brendel collaborated with SCORE representative Paul Decapua, who mentored all seven students as they molded their own individual projects from a conceptual framework to a workable design.

The student business "The Pointe" created by Kayla McGuinness won the first-place prize of a $100 gift card donated by Walmart. Austin Rohrbaugh received second-place for his business plan and received a $50 Visa Gift card. The other students, Austin Phillips, Nathan Rardon and Darren Weiler all received gift cards donated by Best Buy, Target and the Business Professionals of America (BPA) Tallmadge student organization in recognition of their outstanding efforts.

The students created a business plan with the assistance of Paul DeCapua.

A summary of the students' business is as follows:

"The Pointe" by Kayla McGuinness: The Pointe is a dance studio that offers a variety of different styles of dances to anyone who is interested in improving his or her dance skills. Each type of class is offered at all age and skill levels.

"Poppa-Korn" by Austin Phillips: Poppa-Korn offers quality popcorn at a low price to residents craving a delicious snack at various Ohio flea markets, festivals and fairs. The stand will be a 10-feet by 10-feet tent colored red, white and blue. The product will be made with a propane kettle and would be completely self-sustained. In the short-term, Phillips hopes to attend many events to gain experience and to generate a few thousand dollars in revenue to purchase more custom equipment.

"Nate's Music Store" by Nathan Rardon: Having a pick holder that can move freely around an instrument can be a most beneficial piece of an instrument's rig. With the suction cup design, spring loaded pick ejector and choice of materials for the holder itself, it will become a stylish, mandatory piece of a musician's set up. This item will be available online and exclusively in a retail store along with quality instruments, supplies, accessories and expert instrument services.

"Motototo" by Darren Weiler: Motototo is a business based around a single product that the owner invented and currently uses for two distinct and disparate functions, 1) motorcycle enthusiast and 2) construction industry. The product is an accessory that mounts inside a truck bed to make loading and transporting motorcycles more convenient. In addition, workers in skilled trades will find Motototo useful to secure tools in truck beds. The product is an original design and would be manufactured locally by the owner.

"PizzaPizaz" by Austin Rohrbaugh: PizzaPizaz offers consumers a quality pizza at a low price. The shop is located on Tallmadge Road near the Walmart/Cascades of Brimfield area which receives a lot of business. PizzaPizaz will serve to all pizza buyers typically within a 20-mile radius.

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