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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Business Valuation for Sharks -- Shark Tank Inspired Financial Literacy Project

Bringing the Entrepreneurial Spirit to your Classroom!
I might only watch one TV show. So what? It's the coolest show on the planet -- Shark Tank! This 21st Century Math Project takes students on an entrepreneurial journey that will help them understand some of the basics of small business finance.

It was also the landslide winner in next 21st Century Math Project Poll!

Name: Business Valuation for Sharks
Suggested Grade Level: 6-12
Math Concepts: Proportion, Percent and Data Analysis
Interdisciplinary Connections: Business, Financial Literacy, Accounting, Finance
Teaching Duration: 5-7 Days (can be modified)
Cost: $6 for a 22 Page PDF (3 assignment and answer keys) 

The Product:  Students will create a small business plan or invention that you will pitch to a panel of Sharks in hopes that you get an investment (your grade depends on it!) They will be putting their knowledge of
Can I just show Shark Tank and pass
out on my desk? Answer = Probably Not
equity, revenue projections and valuation to the test all built around their own creation.

Although I've never taken a business or finance class, I think the last two years of watching Shark Tank have taught me more than I could have learned in a classroom. Watching the show has shown me what top executives find important in business, what types of numbers they are interested in and which types of products garner more interest from them.

While it would be impossible to cover all of these skill in a single math project, I've laid the foundation for students to grab onto some key financial terms and I've applied authentic math at each turn. Proportions, Percents and Analyzing Data Trends jump into the deep waters with this math project inspired by the popular TV show Shark Tank. Students learn some basic fundamentals of owning their own business while they learn foundational finance terms such as equity, value, EBIT and multiplier.

Hey! Don't talk bad about the Common
Core. I'm just starting to figure it out.
Bring the creativity into the math classroom! Bring the entrepreneurs. Educators don't believe our students have enough opportunities to be creative. Business leaders complain young workers aren't creative. You can't turn on the internet without seeing a story about another high school dropout who started a business and made 19 bajillion dollars. How are we supposed to work on creative? Hmmm... how about... let them be creative.

While the Common Core standards are all well and good (and this is mapped to them!), the words Common and Core don't quite lend themselves well to creativity.

In all it is four different assignments --

-- “Equity Share”. Students will compute proportions to determine equity.

-- “Valuation Station”. Students will be introduced to a basic accounting formula EBIT which is one method

You mean... I might actually learn
something that I would in college?
to compute a company’s valuation. Students will be introduced to the concept of a multiplier and will calculate valuations.

-- “Revenue Forecast”.  Students will analyze data to look for trends and project future income. They will
combine this skill with the EBIT skill from the previous activity and will analyze multipliers of related companies to estimate a multiplier for their own.

-- “Swimming with the Sharks”. Students will create a small business plan or invention that you will pitch to a panel of Sharks in hopes that you get an investment (your grade depends on it!) They will be putting their knowledge of equity, revenue projections and valuation to the test all built around their own creation.

EXTENSIONS:
Let a student run with a good idea. Encourage their creativity!

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