High school entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to Shark Tank

Four Murray Bridge students have taken their big business plans to a state competition.

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You don’t need to be out of your teens to be an entrepreneur any more – just ask these four Murray Bridge High School students.

Nate Trewin, Riley Lienert, Mitchell Lavery and Khendrick Dela Cruz went toe-to-toe with innovators from around South Australia on Friday as they pitched their business ideas to a panel of experts for a competition.

At stake in the Shark Tank E-School finals were thousands of dollars worth of prizes in each of three categories.

Riley, Mitchell and Khendrick’s idea was for a window treatment that could block sunlight during summer and let it through in winter.

As well as keeping buildings at a comfortable temperature year-round, the team argued, such a product would reduce power usage and bills.

It might sound like a daydream, but a combination of two modern plastics could make it possible, Riley said.

“It uses two different materials with different thermodynamic (properties),” he said.

“My uncle is an engineer and we conversed about the topic.

“They do this with metals, but we want to do it with plastic.”

Nate's idea was to establish a platform which would help a community of motor sport fans connect through iRacing, a simulator game.

“You have the same people you usually race against and other people you meet,” he said.

He had met 20 or 30 people from outside South Australia at a trial event he put on, he said.

Assistant principal Tiahne Rowe said Murray Bridge High School’s focus on entrepreneurialism and innovation – as one of five specialist schools in South Australia – would equip students for their future careers.

The competition built students’ resilience, she said, and helped them to see problems as opportunities, collaborate and focus on the future.

In time, MBHS students will be able to follow a specialist stream of subjects from years 7 to 12, and the school will have a budget that will allow it to invest in their ideas.

The school was also building entrepreneurial skill development into all other subjects, Ms Rowe said.

The Shark Tank E-School program is an initiative of Adelaide University, the US TV show Shark Tank and innovation agency MIE Lab.

Photo: Peri Strathearn.

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