The leaders of a mock business called El Bella Vida presented their business plan to a panel of “Sharks,” asking the panel’s business professionals to consider investing in their company. The presentation went extremely well, with members of the panel congratulating the students for “finding a niche market” and “presenting well thought-out, professional answers to the many questions” regarding their market research, budget proposal, and advertising plan.
John Sadowski, a MACA Next Step instructor and Executive Vice President/CIO of Sandy Spring Bank, assigned the project as the final for his college Introduction to Business class. The students were challenged to create a new product or service using information they learned in class. The team was required to write a five-page paper detailing their product or service as well as prepare a 15 minute presentation for the “Shark Tank” panel of business professionals. “They needed to present their idea in a format that ultimately estimated its financial viability and ‘ask’ for funding to support their idea,” explained Sadowski.
Following the presentation, the panel asked questions about the business plan, questioning the students assumptions, asking them to validate their numbers, and providing advice to sharpen the proposal. The “Sharks” for the presentation were Mr. Sadowski, Mr. Ben Colvard, VP and Credit Officer and Mr. Brian Saylor, VP and Integrated Sales Development, both from Sandy Spring Bank, and Dr. Lori Sefton whose research specialization is in Organizational Communication.
Sadowski’s BUS 102 is one of the courses offered through Mount Airy Christian Academy’s (MACA) Next Step dual enrollment program. Through this program, MACA students are able to complete college-level courses during the school day on the school campus. Next Step allows MACA graduates to begin college early. This is just one more way MACA is advancing its academic program.