Building 21 Shark Tank

This past Friday, Building 21 took over the Idea Accelerator to participate in a startup pitch competition modeled after the hit ABC show, Shark Tank. The recipient of the 2015 and 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Structured Reality Program, Shark Tank allows aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to present their business ideas to the sharks – multi-millionaire and billionaire investors.

Building 21 is a schooling system focused on developing a new secondary school design that adapts to meet learners where they are, and then helps them to pursue their interests and passions on a pathway to college and career success.  The organization launched its first school in Philadelphia just 3 years ago, and has since launched a second school located in Allentown, PA that is just 2 years old. Building 21’s mission is empowering networks of learners to connect with their passions and build agency to impact their world.

The Building 21 students wowed the Idea Accelerator’s panel of judges which included venture capitalist and Building 21 founder Chip Linehan, music industry entrepreneurs and academics Michael McArthur and Jerome Hipps, engineer Nora Swanson, and 3 Villanova University students. Their ideas ranged from a smart device application focused on improving inner cities through activity (Challenger) to a clothing brand (Success N Progress), a bakery (Your Bakery), customizable boxing gear (Boxlife), babysitting (Baby Bliss) and wedding (Tie It) planning services, and activity/exercise house (FlyBY). Challenger and Success N Progress were both presented with monetary prizes to help develop their ideas.

The student pitches were followed by a brief networking session with Villanova students and a tour of campus. The ICE Institute is excited to continue its relationship with Building 21 and looks forward to future events like this one.