Burling Bank and Moneythink Hold “Shark Tank” Competition for Teens

There was a competitive spirit in the air on May 25th, 2017, as 75 students from charter high schools across Chicago took part in a Shark Tank-style competition to see whose entrepreneurial idea would win over judges. The highly successful event was sponsored by Burling Bank and The University of Chicago’s Moneythink chapter to promote financial literacy and entrepreneurship for low-income students, preparing them for a bright financial future.

Students prepared for 3 months developing ideas and plans for business, making presentations, constructing budgets and gaining insight from The University of Chicago Moneythink students. Divided into 15 teams, teens competed to see which judges would “invest” in their ideas.

The winning team from Rauner College Prep took home first place with their concept of iGreen, a community-based recycling initiative. Students would pick up waste from businesses for free and then sell the organic compost created from the waste product at a low cost. According to the winning team, “iGreen encourages people to spend time outdoors and gardening.” Their green thumbs paid off: each winner on the team received a brand new Google chromebook for their efforts. This is the third consecutive year the event has been held.

The winning team from Rauner College Prep took home the grand prize.

“It means a lot,” Said Kerrington Woods, junior at Urban Prep high school. “I’m here and able to experience new things that a lot of people at my school and my community can’t.” Kerrington also acknowledged that students would work on their projects beyond classtime to better themselves and their work, showcasing the entrepreneurial spirit of the bustling teens. Students got screentime too, as the story was recently featured on WGN. See the story below:

As a community partner, Burling Bank is pleased to help educate students from low-opportunity neighborhoods on financial literacy and entrepreneurship through Burling’s sponsorship of The University of Chicago Moneythink chapter, a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to financial education.

“These past two years of partnership have allowed our chapter to pursue opportunities for expansion, collaboration, growth, and programming that we would have never realized without Burling.” Said Dalton Schmit, President of Moneythink. “In many ways, this event was a culmination of the successes our partnership has produced for Moneythink.”

To get involved and learn more about Moneythink’s capabilities, visit their site.