Huntington's annual Shark Tank contest produced three excited winneres.

Huntington Business Students Swim Through Shark Tank

Huntington's annual Shark Tank contest produced three excited winneres.

June 22, 2022

Huntington High School business students jumped into the “shark tank” for a friendly late year competition that brought out the best in everyone.

Students enrolled in the high school’s Business Management course participated in the contest. The teenagers worked for several weeks to develop an “invention” and create a business plan to bring it to market.

 Niyelle Mitchell, Cindy Barahona-Alvarado, Paige Furman and Leslie Rivera.
Niyelle Mitchell, Cindy Barahona-Alvarado, Paige Furman and Leslie Rivera.

“The students put their heart and soul into their projects,” Ms. Furman said. “They each developed their own product and spent all of fourth quarter creating their business plans, which included executive summaries, marketing plans, SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity and threat) analyses, financial projections, management summaries and detailed marketing research studies. At the end, they created websites for their businesses and put together an elevator pitch.”

Class members voted on the best teams and then the finalists presented to judges Suzi Biagi and Ilene Messina in the high school’s annual competition.

Seniors Leslie Rivera, Cindy Barahona-Alvarado and Niyelle Mitchell won first place in this year’s contest for “Baddie.” It’s a two in one cosmetic product that works as a makeup foundation while also clearing acne.

“It was a really great experience,” Ms. Barahona-Alvarado said. “We learned more about how to create a business. A big thanks to Mrs. Furman for helping us in every way. We learned that we have many different skills that we didn’t realize we had.”

The competition played out in the School Heritage Museum at Huntington High School. Participants dressed and conducted themselves as business professionals. The sharks listened to the product pitches and then had an opportunity to ask questions. 

“It was a cool experience,” Ms. Rivera said. “We put a lot of effort into the project and presenting was so much fun We created this product because acne was one thing we had to deal with and was one of our biggest insecurities.”

The final round was exciting. “I was impressed by the hard work and professionalism shown by all teams, but a few really stood out,” Mrs. Furman said. “Sophomore Marley Joseph came in second place with a very creative and thorough presentation on her product, ‘The Style Lab.’ The winning team, which included seniors Niyelle, Leslie and Cindy, put together a presentation that would rival some of the very best pitches I’ve seen. They had incredible stage presence and the judges were completely blown away.”

The high school’s Business Management and Human Relations course is open to students in grades 9-12. “This course will help you acquire the skills necessary to make informed decisions, as well as provide you with information vital to realistic career choices,” states the course description. “We will make you aware of the economics of work and you will develop an understanding of the marketplace. In addition, we will analyze your likes, dislikes, unique characteristics, competencies, and weaknesses with the intention of adding to your self-awareness. Problem solving and decision-making skills will also be taught.”