Shark Tank is a pinnacle event for The DeLorean Project each year. It’s a momentous occasion in our calendar and in the learning journey for our students. Every year we see the students rise to the occasion and impress the sharks with their ideas. We see varying degrees of nervousness before going into the tank, and yet we always see the same level of elation and sense of accomplishment when they come out of the tank. For many students, the reality that ‘adult’s and experts’ like their ideas and want to help them turn these into reality is quite overwhelming and they begin to believe in themselves.
Round #1 this year was an outstanding success. Students who were feeling nervous and were looking for a nearby bin should the nerves get the better of them, overcame their greatest fears of public speaking to deliver their pitch and receive positive and encouraging feedback from the sharks. Every team was given advice and contacts for how to take their projects to the next level; now it is on the students to take the next steps and make this happen!
Another first for the program this year was that some Year 11s re-pitched their projects from last year. This turned out to be an excellent opportunity for one of our Year 11s in particular, Alison Caust. Alison is an incredibly talented artist, musician and story writer and has spent her Wednesdays working towards creating an animated TV mini-series targeted at a teenager audience. Alison pitched in Round #1 specifically to one of the sharks Zach Johnson who is the CEO and Founder of Xandra. Xandra is a company that specialises in productions and animations and has connections with the likes of Netflix, Nickelodeon and Sesame Street. After hearing Alison pitch, Zach has offered to mentor her through the process of producing a pilot series and getting it in front of some of his clients. Alison came one step closer to her dream of having her work aired on television; she came one step closer to turning this dream into a reality. This kind of opportunity doesn’t come along every day, but herein lies the added value of the DeLorean Project, they are becoming more frequent with the calibre and support of our network.
Other successes from Round #1 are for some of our teams to be connected with people and organisations around the Sunshine Coast who can either meet supply needs, help with mentoring and/or promotion. Our students walked away with not only a financial investment, but more importantly, authentic opportunities and were further supported in the solutions they have posed to the problems they have identified for users in their areas of interest.
Stay tuned for Round #2 and #3 (Wednesday 19 and 26), where eight more teams each day pitch to a different panel of sharks and stand to gain life-changing experiences and opportunities. You can watch the pitches from each week on our DeLorean Project Youtube channel, plus interviews with the sharks and students on our Facebook page.