On Saturday, March 16, more than 100 students attended BEcon, where they spent the morning exploring company booths, listening to the keynote speaker, and attending professional workshops and sHarker Tank, Harker’s own version of “Shark Tank.”
Winners of sHarker Tank are as follows:
First place: Promelle – Riya Gupta and Nishka Ayyar, both grade 12
Second place: The Minty Boutique – Mahi Kolla, grade 11
Third place: Pillbot – Johnny Wang, grade 12
Fourth place: Nanoseed – Jason Huang and Suraj Pakala, both grade 12
Students first interacted with a variety of company booths from around the Bay Area, such as Gualala Gadget, which manufactures 3D-printed marble machines, and Contrary Capital, which provides funding for student-led projects and businesses.
Afterward, students were led into the Nichols Auditorium for the keynote speaker: Yoram Bauman, the world’s only stand-up economist. Bauman performed his routine, eliciting laughter from the crowd with jokes about economists, capitalism and other topics while still educating students on various economics topics and about his efforts toward climate change legislation. Following Bauman, students transitioned to attend professional workshops on a variety of topics, including Blockchain, Business Analytics, Game Theory and Behavioral Economics. Students learned about different fields in business and economics, and developed new mindsets and skills to tackle business situations.
Students then attended the mentor luncheon, where professionals, including a number of Harker parents, from many fields ate with the students, told them about their daily lives in the workplace, and helped them build their professional networks. The mentors offered valuable business advice and answered questions posed by students.
After the lunch, the students migrated back to the auditorium for sHarker Tank, Harker’s own version of the popular TV show “Shark Tank.” The event was sponsored by venture firm Next47 and their CEO Lak Ananth. Honors Entrepreneurship students presented their companies and ideas to a panel of judges, competing for $15,000 in seed money, $10,000 of which was graciously provided by @Next47.
First to present was The Minty Boutique, which sells customizable and stylish personal planners, notebooks and more. The next company was Pillbot, an automated solution to medicine dispensing with a tamper-proof design and overdose protection. After Pillbot, Promelle gave a pitch for its mobile peer-to-peer clothing rental service. Finally, Nanoseed presented its nonprofit efforts of microfinancing loans in rural China. The winners were presented with oversized checks and met with ringing applause for their achievements!
BEcon 2019 was a success, offering students an opportunity to learn about new business and economics fields, expand their professional networks, and enjoy a Saturday morning filled with fun!