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'Shark Tank' style: Vista Ridge HS students learning how to become entrepreneurs

Vista Ridge juniors and seniors are buildings businesses from the ground up.

CEDAR PARK, Texas — Vista Ridge High School's incubator and accelerator programs are responsible for training the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Students enter the program as juniors and are separated into groups.

"By October, we have them separated into teams and they stay in those teams throughout the rest of their journey," said instructor Dana Jones.

Jones also said that the courses benefit greatly from community volunteers.

Whitney Fenzel is a digital marketing specialist who is in her second year mentoring the students.

"I meet with my kids once a week," Fenzel said. "We meet before school on Friday and we email intermittently."

At the end of their junior year, the groups pitch their ideas in a "Shark Tank" style show to secure funding. Those that get funding advance to the senior accelerator class.

Credit: KVUE

Jones explained that the ideas vary from apps to children's products and even food. 

"We have a restaurant that sells air-fried chicken, we have a neighborhood safety app and we have a stuffed animal company with interchangeable heads and limbs," she said.


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Garrett Powell's app is called B-Line. It's an app that aims to make the grocery shopping experience more enjoyable. His group is working with a volunteer who is employed at Google.

"He has a huge network throughout the city and we're able to use that as necessary because he's our mentor and it fits just perfectly," Jones said.

These students are building a great entrepreneurial foundation and are looking forward to being future leaders in business.

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