Guest Editorial: Entrepreneurs in Training

By Gilbert Guru

Winners of the 4th Annual Shark Tank Competition

In the happy news of the day category, we present to you the 4th Annual Shark Tank Competition: Hosted by Quartz Hill Elementary. Home of the “Trailblazers,” the school saw 7 teams pitch their business ideas to a panel of “Sharks” on March 24th. 26 fifth-graders, pulled on their best business professional attire and took to the stage to present their original business ideas.

For the past 4 years, Quartz Hill Elementary School, located in Gilbert, has given its 5th-grade students the opportunity to explore their business acumen. This year’s Annual Shark Tank Competition began with 18 groups and was narrowed down to 7 to present their ideas.

The amazing program gets young minds to explore the very real possibility of opening their own business in the future. By creating their prototypes, learning essential presentation skills, and developing business plans these students are the Valley’s future entrepreneurs, business leaders, and “trailblazers” – the Valley’s future has never been brighter.

The entrepreneurs in training were scored by the originality of their product, the real-life sellability of their products, their answers to the Shark’s follow-up questions, and their presentation skills including enthusiasm, attire, preparedness, posture, and content.

Business Ideas:

The Floating Boating Box


Light Guards

The Clasper

Specialty Gloves

Wilderness Bracelet

You Got Hooks

The 5th Grade CEO’s behind the Floating Boating Box took home the trophy on March 24th and walked away with an “investment” from the sharks. The minds behind the Floating Boating Box pitched a product that keeps personal belongings safe, dry, and floating while boating – a product Lori Greiner would have called a “Hero.”

Getting kids to start thinking early about being an entrepreneur is crucial to the continued growth of the Valley. The show Shark Tank has reinvigorated entrepreneurial spirit in the U.S. since its inception and Quartz Hill Elementary School has capitalized on its popularity and created great business minds in the process.

The panel of Sharks included Gilbert Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Shane McCord, Executive Director of Elementary Education Jason Martin, Director Marketing and Communications Dawn Antestenis, Ford Motor Company Regional Manager Brad Jones, and two 6th grade student judges.

Kudos to all. As relentless enthusiasts of small businesses and entrepreneurs, we hope new schools emulate Quartz Hill Elementary School.