, Salem, MA


May 14, 2014

Danvers, Peabody students dive into 'Shark Tank'

DANVERS — On the hit ABC show “Shark Tank,” budding entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to five millionaires in the hope that their idea will get funded before they get torn apart.

Taking that idea one step further, teams of Distributive Education Clubs of America, or DECA, students from Peabody High and Danvers High will go head to head tonight in a “Shark Tank” challenge. The competition takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. at Timothy’s on Route 1, 255 Newbury St.

It’s a first-of-its-kind event sponsored by the Innovative Business Network, a local business networking group.

Teams of Danvers and Peabody students will pitch their ideas to judges who are local business owners. Three teams per school will have to pitch their marketing plans for custom apparel maker SewOn and SewForth of Middleton.

“We picked one of the businesses in our marketing group, and they (the teams of students) each had to come up with a marketing plan for that business,” said George McCracken, a member of the networking group.

The Danvers High team includes sophomores Mike Plansky, Tre Crittendon and Brendan Powers; seniors Erin Heald, Brianna Flynn and Joe Poirier; and juniors Jason Trefrey, James Curley and Jason McCannon.

Peabody High DECA members include freshman Isabela Valencia; sophomores Gianna Costello and Christina Pescatore; juniors Abigail Hoffman, Gianni Farese, Jared Nickerson, Ashley Ferragamo and Danny Griffin; and seniors Austin Solimine, Chris Ciampa, Anna Grimalyak and Maria Zoto.

Peabody’s Danny Griffin said students visited the business to get an understanding of what it was about.

“They said they don’t have a marketing plan, so this is what we are going to do for them,” Griffin said.

The company’s owner gave students a hypothetical $8,000 budget to work with.

“If he likes what they’ve done, he will implement” the winning team’s marketing plan, said Meghan Symmes Beaulieu, the adviser to the Danvers club.

Lenny Brand, the Peabody High DECA adviser, said the event will be “something new and creative and an innovative experience.”

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

Shark Tank judges

Kelly Cragg, Danvers Indoor Sports

Kelly Delaney, Cakes for Occasions

Sarah Littlefield, BrightStar Care

Attorney James Sears

Michael Sobus, Next Level Business Development

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