Winners of Shark Tank Announced

Poly Shark Tank Slide

Who would be able to convince the sharks that they have the best idea in the Shark Tank?

Are Upper School students looking for new ways to connect or for new Poly merch designs? The second annual Upper School Shark Tank event offered students several proposals: apps they can use to become better connected to their classmates or to find part-time work, or a competition to design new Poly gear.

Reese Roaman ’25 and Sadie Schoenberger ’25 were the organizers. According to a story Roaman wrote for The Polygon, “Poly’s Shark Tank… gives young entrepreneurs a chance to showcase their inventions and ideas before a panel of judges and compete for an array of prizes.”

Shark Tank student sharks Anjali Budhram ’24, Luke Farris ’24, and Petros Dulos ’25
Student Sharks Anjali Budhram ’24, Luke Farris ’24, and Petros Dulos ’25

A panel of judges including math teacher Dr. Stephen Bates, Head of Upper School Sarah Bates, Anjali Budhram ’24, Luke Farris ’24, and Petros Dulos ’25 determined the winning team. Prizes included a Poly Merch Basket, $100 in Chef-Lou Bucks, and the Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Award, “suitable for college apps to highlight your achievement on Shark Tank.”

Roaman and Schoenberger introduced the first contestants at an Upper School assembly on December 5 in Chapel.

Neeka Aghazadeh ’27 and Brianna Sylvain ’27
Neeka Aghazadeh ’27 and Brianna Sylvain ’27
Blue Devil Battles

Brianna Sylvain ’27 and Neeka Aghazadeh ’27 were first up with their Blue Devil Battles app proposal asking, “Who wishes they could connect more with people in their grade?” The duo offered a way to compete in Blue Devil Battles, a series of trivia questions on an app, which would allow students to “friend” peers with similar interests such as sports or music, in competitions that would raise school spirit.

The judges asked how the app would be coded. Sylvain assured them the app would just be for Poly students.

Poly Connect
Poly Connect

Aiden Yang ’25, Eason Yao ’25, Michael Cai ’26, and Wendy Zhou ’25 proposed Poly Connect, an app for students to connect with other students with similar areas of interest such as Academic Competition, Art & Creativity, Sports, Collaboration such as independent study and peer tutoring, and Free Time Activities such as Coffeehouse. 

Merch Store Revamp

The Women’s Entrepreneurship Club presented Poly Merch – A Revamp. Club President Madeline Gross  ’26, Vice President Stavroula Gabriel ’25 and club members Amara Johansson ’26, Ava Barbiere ’26, Daisy Lu ’26, and Emma Auger-Dominguez ’26 proposed making the Poly Merch Store accessible through the Student Portal. “There will be a form on Veracross to lodge recommendations to advance the given Poly Merch.” Some of the members are also in the Fashion Club. Gross explained afterward, “I am the secretary of the Fashion Club and I was thinking we could partner with them to help get the competition off the ground! They can help design logos and look over logos for the competition. We also think that this would be a great way to increase the number of members in the club!” 

They advocated for “Merch Made for the students, by the students.” By this they meant, “Customizable merch year-round: more options for color, clothing type (sweatpants, hoodies, etc.) and designs/logos.” Students can make suggestions on what they want to see added to the store” so students can get “exactly what they want.” They proposed a “yearly competition” in which students could “create a merch design and submit it on the Student Portal. Students vote through a Google form. For their effort, the winners will receive a prize. The winning design will be a limited-time merch option until the next year’s contest.”

Merch Store Revamp presented by Madeline Gross ’26, Vice President Stavroula Gabriel ’25, Amara Johansson ’26, Ava Barbiere ’26, Daisy Lu ’26, Emma Auger-Dominguez ’26

The Women’s Entrepreneurship Club advocated: “Support Poly with student-made, stylish merch at Poly events, games, or elsewhere,” “Support students who are interested in clothing design and art,” and “Create a bridge between Poly’s art and athletic departments.” Anyone interested in finding out more, is invited to come to the Women’s Entrepreneurship meeting during the second half of Clubs Block in Room 119.

Student Link
Zeke Wise ’24 and Olivia Wahlstedt ’24 Student Link

For Upper School students, who are looking for a part-time job, Zeke Wise ’24 and Olivia Wahlstedt ’24 proposed an app that they described as a “ground-breaking mobile application that connects New York locals with passionate and dependable students looking for temporary work.”

Wise and Wahlstedt shared their plans for a social media strategy using an Instagram account as well as internal advertising at school events. They added that there would be a discount code for new users of the app and that they planned to partner with local businesses. Local people would be able to post jobs on the app and students would receive updates about these job openings.

And the Winner Is…

On December 8, the panel of judges announced the winning team. Stephen Bates reported, “The Merch Store Revamp idea won the 2023 Shark Tank competition. Students include Madeline Gross, Stavroula Gabriel, Emma Auger-Dominguez, Daisy Lu, Amara Johansson, and Ava Barbiere. They will receive the Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Award, as well as serve as judges for next year’s Shark Tank.” 

Congratulations to the Women’s Entrepreneurship Club members!