A College Preparatory Private School with Two Campuses in Suffolk, VA. Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 12.

Upper School Students Pitch Products for Gen Z in Annual Saints Tank Competition

2024 Saints Tank finalists

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy's entrepreneurial spirit continues to thrive, as the Upper School recently hosted its 16th annual Saints Tank competition, a showcase of our students' innovation and problem-solving prowess.

The annual contest, which is a spin on ABC's hit show "Shark Tank," challenges students in Principles of Economics to create a product to solve real-world problems. Each year, Saints Tank evolves, and Mr. Truesdell and Ms. Parker work to improve the project in an effort to give students the best experience possible. The focus for the assignment is on implementing the Design Thinking process, which helps students to become creative problem solvers.

This year, teams of students were tasked with creating different products targeting Gen Z buyers. Participants prepared their presentations for weeks before presenting to the first panel of sharks.

The first round included 10 groups. Participants created a prom planning service (Promalist), a hair brush with built-in dry shampoo (Brushamm), software that scans a customer's body to help them find the best fitting clothes while shopping online (Virtual Closet), a water bottle that purifies the water inside it (SaferSip), an app that helps high school students manage their communications with prospective colleges (Campus Portal), a device that gym goers can use to keep their belongings together as they move from machine to machine (Drink Link), a business that teaches college students essential life skills (IndependED), a phone wallet that unlocks with the user's fingerprint (Locked In), a device to keep food and drinks cold in lockers (Flocka) and a hand warmer that can be used while boating (Northeastern Marine).

Following an evaluation of their problem-solving skills, prototype development and presentation quality, Drink Link, SaferSip and Locked In earned their spot in the finals. These teams engaged in a high-stakes round of pitching to a new panel of judges, receiving invaluable feedback from sharks to refine their concepts.

After the second panel of sharks consulted with one another, they announced Millie Dunbar '25, Gracie Brooks '25, Cooper Goss '24 and Charlie Joseph '24 with Drink Link as the winners. Team members marketed the device as a way to manage your belongings at the gym and even created a prototype in NSA's Innovation Lab before showing it to the sharks.

Congratulations to all of our Saints Tank participants, and thank you to Mr. Truesdell, Ms. Parker and all of our sharks for their time and dedication to this event!

Drink Link
Drink Link team members
Locked In
Locked In team members
SaferSip team members



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