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Dowdell Middle Magnet Holds Inaugural Business Pitch Competition

May 31, 2019 - Student Success

If you've ever watched the hit television show Shark Tank, you know the premise. Potential business owners pitch their idea quickly to a group of successful business owners looking for feedback, and ultimately financial backing. 

That is exactly what four students in Dowdell Middle Magnet School had a chance to do in the school's inaugural "Greenovation Business Pitch Competition." 

For 12 weeks, the Greenovation program taught students anything from taking apart a computer to sustainability efforts and entreprenuership concepts. It culminated with the students brainstorming their own business idea to pitch in front of successful local business owners. 

This program was in conjunction with local business eSmart Recycling. Owner Tony Selvaggio told students at the event that they have the advantage of time on their side, and encouraged them to begin their entrepreneurial endeavors as soon as possible.

"It was about them delivering this incredible persuasive pitch about their projects they developed," said the program's lead magnet teacher Candice LaRussa. "They've all grown on the inside. Even if they don't end up owning their own business in the future, they have grown as people and I am proud of them."

Ideas ranged from recycling companies to anti-bullying technology.

Kaniya Pierson-Samuels, 13, was the overall winner taking home the $250 prize. She pitched a veterinary rescue business to the judges, who praise her on stage presence and persuasiveness. 

The 7th grader says this competition has helped her realize she can open her own business. She says her plan is to open "Precious Paws" when she gets older.