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Swimming with sharks

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Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 12:00 am

As part of George Walton Academy’s Winter Term, students could take an entrepreneurial class where they take a service project, business or product, develop a pre-launch plan and present it to a panel of Walton County community members.

Michael Clancy, director of college counseling and the originator of this class, visited multiple universities and noticed them developing business incubator centers for students interested in entrepreneurship. He wanted to create a class to help students take an idea and make it into a possible reality.

The class models a miniature version of “Shark Tank,” taking on the name “Bass Tank” instead. After two weeks of fine-tuning and developing their proposals, the students each presented a prototype or model of their vision to a panel of “sharks,” each with their own perspectives and advice.

From football helmet visors to fish tank vacuums, each student’s proposal was thought through and open to questions and suggestions from the panel.

Ayden Middlebrooks and Jacob Engelbracht created and presented a prototype of their product, the eBAR, a customizable product that dispenses and mixes alcoholic beverages. The duo claimed their product can also use carbonated drinks and has no mechanical parts touching the liquid, unlike other competitors. Middlebrooks was especially passionate about the product, fully coding and creating the model himself in two weeks.

 “The sky’s the limit with this product. I worked about two hours every day on it. I love that it’s totally customizable,” Middlebrooks said.

 Middlebrooks sees the eBAR rented out for events and used in restaurants. In turn, the panel was also interested and eager to see the future for the product.

    “You’ve got to start somewhere, and this class helps these students do just that. I’ve seen a lot of growth in them, both with public speaking and their ideas,” Clancy said.

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