As we began the fifth anniversary year of Spark Tank, Dwight’s incubator for K-12 students, we introduced some exciting changes to our Spark Tank events.
We began by adding an Expo for students to share their Spark Tank projects with the community. The afternoon venue enabled much greater exposure and interaction among students, faculty, staff, and parents who came to take part — more than we see during evening Spark Tank Events. The projects included those in the early stages of development, so that students could get the word out and receive feedback about their ideas; and projects that are further along and ready to implement or sell. And sell they did!
The Expo, held in our new foyer and Spark Lab in 21 West 88th Street, became a pop-up shop, where Aidan Friedson ’21 and Elaine Song ’20 sold their own clothing lines — Aidan’s Daffodils in Paradise apparel and Elaine’s Tranz waterproof jackets that transform into a bag — and Owen Shin ’26’s cookies from his City Kid Pastries line sold out.
They were joined at the Expo by: Isabella Fakhouri ’26, who showcased a prototype for Covered, protective suitcase covers that can be artistically customized and erased; Jonah Saltzman ’23, who shared his idea for a reminder app to help people become more organized; Josh Portnoy ’26, who brought his video game concept; and Victoria Buendia-Serrano ’23, who introduced Easy Aura, an app for trying on and buying make-up virtually.
Later the same day came the Spark Tank main event, where students presented their projects to the Spark Tank Committee — as they have over the last four years — for feedback, mentorship, and innovation grants. This year, the event was streamlined and the panel included a student guest judge, Jordan Sotomayor ’21. He is a veteran Spark Tank presenter, whose experience pitching ideas for several of his own projects, came in handy for providing feedback to those new to the Tank.
Elaine, also a veteran presenter, updated judges on the refinements she had made to her convertible jacket-bag; and Victoria presented her make-up app for the first time. The event closed with another new pitch by Logan Gatch ’21, whose clothing line PG-22, featuring signature stitching on the outside of garments, is in the prototype stage.
What hasn’t changed this year is how impressive the students are and how innovative their ideas continue to be! We look forward to following their entrepreneurial progress in the months to come.
Save the date for the next Spark Tank Expo and event: February 25, 2020!
- Middle School
- Spark Tank
- Upper School