SUMMIT, NJ - Middle school teens won't have to deal with the prickly 'Mr. Wonderful' Kevin O'Leary but -- starting this fall -- they will get to experience a sampling of the entrepreneurial process as "Shark Tank - Middle School Edition" comes to the Summit Area YMCA.

The program is loosely modeled after the ABC-TV reality series Shark Tank which, since its debut in 2009, has been a ratings and critical success, having won two Primetime Emmy Awards. Shark Tank is a spin-off of Dragons Den, which began in Japan in 2001, and features entrepreneurs pitching their business products and plans to a group of 'sharks' -- investors such as O'Leary, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, and Barbara Corcoran -- who then decide whether they will invest and, if so, under what parameters.

“Shark Tank - Middle School Edition” is designed to help drive youth potential and creativity, showing students some of what it takes to become an entrepreneur, and will teach participants how to write a business plan and present it to investors.

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Facilitating the program will be Jon Budish, a financial advisor and broker with more than 30 years experience, who previously led a successful financial literacy series for high school students at the Summit Area YMCA. “This will be a great experience for them in processing a business idea, and making a presentation to potential investors. It should be a lot of fun.” said Budish.

This program is free and available to the community, with enrollment currently open. Spots are limited, with registration available by visiting ! To sign up, please visiting

For more information, contact Julie Wagenblast, Youth and Teen Director, at or call 908-273-3330, ext. 1140.

The Summit Area YMCA is located at 67 Maple Street.