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BARNSTABLE – Young people can learn a lot at Barnstable High School: how to solve an algebra problem, how to read DNA code and how to make sense of literary classics. Some students even learn what it takes to start a business.

In a contest similar to TV’s “Shark Tank” – where entrepreneurs try to convince a panel of tycoons to invest in their idea – students recently pitched their business ideas to a judging panel.

Nicholas Pouliot and Dominic Ford, who won prizes at a New England semifinal competition for young entrepreneurs, came out of the pack on June 14th.

The competition was sponsored by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship or NFTE, a global nonprofit organization that offers entrepreneurship education to middle and high school students.

What were the Barnstable students’ ideas?

Pouliot came up with plans for a biodegradable, recyclable marker that teachers can use in classrooms. To see also : Maximize business value with data-driven strategies.

The idea for “Pouliot’s Preservation” came to him after noticing how many markers teachers threw away. The marker would have a special hood and back design so the marker could be refurbished, he said.

Pouliot won $ 1,000 and a chance to compete in a national NFTE competition to be held in New York City in October.

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Ford won $ 500 for its idea for a mobile care company, “Limitless Grooming”.

He came up with the idea when the pandemic hit. With closed companies and people unable to get so many things done, he thought Cape would be a perfect market. Many residents of the Cape are elderly and retired, so it seemed like a good idea to bring his care business to them.

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This is the third year Barnstable High School has participated in NFTE competitions. The school teamed up with the NFTE after looking for ways to implement more rigor in its Pathways programs, according to trade teacher Justin Ogilvie.

“We have been blown away by them (NFTE),” he said. Read also : Reducing hunger: Students build outdoor outdoor food | Cornell Chronicle.

The school runs an annual course through NFTE. Sixty students in three sections completed the course this year. Twelve of them advanced to the NFTE Regional Quarterfinals. Five students went to the semifinals. Two, Pouliot and Ford, went to the regional finals in Boston.

“It’s a great piece of the business road,” Ogilvie said. “It gives kids an opportunity.”

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And it does so much more, said Monice Maurice, Barnstable’s lead teacher with NFTE.

“Classes are more than just for kids who want to be entrepreneurs,” she said.

It’s about creating a mindset that recognizes opportunities and is familiar with risk, she said. She called these characteristics important as the region and the country move into an economy that is international.

“They (students) are expected to be intrapreneurs in the companies they work for,” she said. “We want to develop the types of skills that they can transfer in every way.”

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How to learn – and develop – that type of mindset is the magic question, Maurice said. The mindset part of the curriculum is in each class, she said. With each concept taught, students learn to build a business. They have to decide what kind of business they want – does it provide goods, or does it provide services? As they learn the concepts, they apply them to their business ideas.

Some students realize that starting their own business is not for them.

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What’s next for Pouliot, Ford?

Pouliot and Ford made it through a quarter-final competition that had 34 students and a semifinal competition against 16 students. They joined another student for the national competition. Read also : Coalition helps black companies stay afloat, offers grants for the Havelock business. Daisha Jackson, a student from Providence, RI, won first place and $ 2,500 for “Yoga for All.” She is going to NFTE’s national competition in October.

Volunteer judges from across the country reviewed students’ pitches and watched videos of their presentations, according to Joanne Lessner, CEO of Lambert, the PR firm representing NFTE.

The judges included entrepreneurs and business people, including employees of NFTE sponsorship organizations.

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Pouliot plans to do more research and refine his project before the next competition. He wants to make his presentation better and if possible have a prototype ready. A representative from Hasbro spoke to him after his pitch in Boston. He has made other contacts, Pouliot said. Although his warm-up performance was not smooth, he felt confident in presenting to the judges.

Ford also plans to prepare because there is a chance he could enter the national competition if a student finalist drops out. His takeaway from the experience: a lot goes into starting a business.

For Ogilvie, one of the most important lessons is that a 15-year-old does not have to feel that it is impossible to start a business.

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“Young people are changing the world,” wrote J.D. LaRock, CEO of NFTE, in an email. “Every young entrepreneur’s innovative idea means an opportunity to address the key challenges facing communities across the globe.”

The national NFTE competition will be held in New York City in mid-October. Day, time and place have not yet been announced.

Contact Denise Coffey at Follow her on Twitter: @DeniseCoffeyCCT.

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How do you judge a pitch?

5 Criteria Juries Use to select the best starting pitch

  • team. In the early stages, investors invest in people. …
  • Market validation. The judges want to see what knowledge you have of the market you are competing in. …
  • Product. …
  • Business model. …
  • Soft values.

How do you determine pitch?

What is pitch equation? To calculate the pitch angle, we use equation 3: Pitch = Tan (angle (in degrees)) Angle (in degrees) = Tan-1 (Pitch) Angle (in degrees) = Tan-1 (5/12) Angle (in degrees) = 22.62o.

How do you work out a 30 degree pitch?

A roof pitch of 30 ° is roughly the same as a roof pitch of 7/12. To convert from degrees to the US ratio: Find the tangent of the angle, tan (angle). This gives you the roof slope.

What is a successful pitch?

For a successful pitch, your slides should be simple, visually appealing and minimalist. Get fewer details in your presentation and explain more through your answers to investors’ questions. Choose a large text size (about 30) so that older investors in your audience can read your slides.

What is considered a good pitch? A good pitch is concise. In most cases, you only have a few seconds to catch someone’s attention and get your point across. Focus and progress are your friends. A good pitch tells a story.

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