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Watch Out for the Sharks!

Photo Credit: Ben Vanourek

The “Be Your Own Bo$$” summer camp was a week of fun recently at the Denver Young Americans center. The week was spent learning about specific skills that you need to become a kid entrepreneur. On Friday July 1st there was a Mini Shark Tank pitch at the end of the camp. Right before then, the young entrepreneurs had a Small Biz Kid Expo.

I only attended the last day of the camp as a reporter, but there were several interesting business ideas at the Expo. Cool Cubes is an idea where you ask for a specific design, and they put together all of the parts of a rubik's cube so that they make the design you requested. Best Bait jewelry had an idea to make earrings with a fishing style. For example, rainbow trout, bass fish, earrings, etc. There was also The Force which sells candy, toys and Star Wars toys.

However, the Shark Tank aspect was my favorite part of the camp. Participants for the Mini Shark Tank pitch were elected by their color group (there are a lot of kids per color group). Each color group elected the business they liked the most and sent them to the Shark Tank. The four businesses that were selected included Terrific Trail Mix, B-Bags, Brady’s Bubbles Bombs, and The Street Side Sweets.

In the Shark Tank, the creators of the four selected businesses walked up to the “Sharks” (i.e. judges/potential investors) and presented their ideas and tried to convince the Sharks to “invest” in their business. The Sharks then discussed the ideas in a backroom, while the children were left to wait nervously. When the Sharks came back, they each said which of the businesses they would personally invest in. They each had certificates for the children that they chose. The certificates were not worth money, but were rather “good job” recognitions.

Terrific Trail Mix. They customize trailmix based on what you want to have in it, and then they make it and send it to you. “You fix it, and we’ll mix it!” He offered $300 for 5% of the equity in the company.

B-Bags are bags attached together like an accordian. They basically are organizers that are connected with velcro that can attach to your backpack. Set of 5 for $24.99, and it only costs $10 to make. She sells them online. Will have them at an invention convention at her school.

Brady’s Bubbles Bombs sells bubble bath bombs. Bubble bath bombs are hard balls made up of smells and colors, and they effervesce and fizz up when you put them in the tub. Brady is pretty funny and wants to use his puppies as a way to get people to come over to his business at local parks. $1 to make them, and he sells them for $3 each. 25% of all profits go to the Dumb Friends League.

The last one, The Street Side Sweets sells snow cones, candy, soda, chips, and in the winter hot cocoa. This team of two girls are asking for $172 to start their business.

Overall I thought that the Small Biz Kid Expo was very good and is a lot of fun for kids. The Mini Shark Tank pitch was unique and everyone listening to the 4 pitches seemed to be having a good time.

I recommend kids go to this summer camp next year, especially if you are in the 5th-6th grade range. 

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