Pictured left to right at the first RBR Shark tank competition are  Red Bank Rotary Club President Ken Scaggs; first place winners Bryce Barnes, André Van Der Linde, and Ryan Humelsine; Third Place winner Moises Orocio, and second place winner Jaydah Diaz.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

The tension was palpable on May 30, as Red Bank Regional High School student finalists presented their invention, product or service to a panel of judges during the school’s first annual RBR Shark Tank event. The competition was sponsored by the Red Bank Rotary Club, which offered a total of $5,000 to the top three winners.

First place and $2,500 went to EZ Keyboard, a year-long engineering project by Academy of Engineering seniors Bryce Barnes of Shrewsbury, Ryan Humelsine of Neptune Township, and André Van Der Linde of Belmar. All three young men, who intend to continue their engineering studies in college, are also musicians. They presented a prototype which allows amputees or disabled people with severe arthritis to play full chords with the use of just one hand.

The boys had generated great interest in their invention from both physical therapists and their patients. They also researched patenting their product, as well as all the costs that would allow them to sell the device competitively with a simple piano keyboard.

During the presentation to the panel, which included Rotarians Chris Zatorski and Jay Schwartz, Two River Times News Editor Christina Johnson, RBR STEM Supervisor David Fusco, and RBR business teacher Cheryl Washington, Ryan explained that “We wanted this to help with a patients’ means of recovery by gaining back something that they had a passion for.”

Senior Jaydah Diaz of Red Bank took second place for $1,500, with her concept for Vybz Cosmetics — an an organic, water-based make-up foundation and cosmetic brand. She wowed the audience and judges with her in-depth knowledge of the organic composition of makeup that was beautiful as well as healthy for the skin; explaining that “This is my passion and I would like to someday own my own makeup company.”

Freshman Moises Orocio of Red Bank took the third place prize of $1,000 for his unique reselling company. He explained how he finds bargains in stores or on-line of very desirable merchandise, such as designer sneakers, and then resells them for a profit.

He told the judges that he has had considerable success with this venture in the past, and added that “it is not just about making money but giving back to those in need,” as he intended to make donations of his products to those who could least afford it.  Moises also impressed the judges with his statement that “I want to be the first entrepreneur in my family.”

Other submitted projects included “BUC Brew,”an idea for the establishment of an after-school coffee bar; “King of the Sandcastle Chair,” a portable, adjustable sand chair, umbrella combo with solar phone charger for the beach;  “Power Buddy,” a portable buddy-sharing phone charger that need not be pre-charged, and promotes face-to-face communication; and “World of Wars,” a new generation of video-games modeled on historically accurate battles through time.

Applicants presented a viable business plan for an innovative and realistic product or service. Proposals included details about the manufacture of the product or delivery of the service as wells as: costs, anticipated profits, projected growth and details about customer base.

The Rotary Club did not stipulate what the prize money could be used for, leaving it up to the entrepreneurs. The seniors all commented that their prize winnings would assist with next year’s college expenses, while freshman prize winner  Moises indicated that he will use it to build his inventory for his reselling venture.