HISD students pitch ideas in local Shark Tank-like competition

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Fifth graders at Mandarin Immersion Magnet School channeled their inner Shark Tank contestants as they pitched their golden business ideas to local business leaders. (KTRK)

Creating a business is more than just an idea. It requires a plan, a brand and an amazing pitch to get an investment.

Olivia Hooper teaches fifth graders business at the Mandarin Immersion Magnet School, and this semester, her students learned how to create a business that they recently pitched to some local sharks.

"It's a way to take all that they learned this semester and create a business from start to finish," Hooper said.

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The students' pitches included a life-sized board game event center, custom 3-D printed glasses, an online tutoring business where kids teach kids and a monthly crafting subscription.

Their audience? Four sharks who are also local business owners. They asked tough questions and gave some useful advice.

"It was pretty intimidating to do it," fifth grader Ari Katz said at first.

But after pitching, she added: "The questions helped me learn more about the business."

For Sugar Land Restaurants co-owner Victor Litwinenko, mentoring these kids was a no-brainer.

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"I like how they're not just reading about business concepts. They're actually creating and developing an idea," said Litwinenko.

"The takeaway is to have different ideas come together and crate something that will make a difference," Hooper added.

"It was such a good learning experience. If we wanted to start up this business right now, we totally good," said fifth grader Morgan Chambers.
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educationshark tankentrepreneurshipinventiontechnologyHISDhouston isdHouston
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