Martin Dimitrov presented to the Naperville Central Business Incubator classes on Tuesday, Oct. 29. The business owner and previous “Shark Tank” competitor offered his insights into the business world and advice for students creating their own companies.
Central’s Business Incubator class is a unique experience found in about 100 schools nationwide where students, typically juniors and seniors, apply their business knowledge in real life.
“Students are put [in] teams, and they’re challenged with solving a problem.”Incubator teacher Brad Neubauer said. “You’re solving the problem because every single business that exists is solving some type of problem so they go through the process. This class basically takes all of the other business classes and then kind of extends it out to real life”
Incubator teams are groups of about four students who come up with a product or service. Throughout the year, they apply business and marketing skills to eventually pitch their business ideas to investors.
21 year-old Martin Dimitrov took the Incubator class as a high school student, which inspired him to pursue entrepreneurship. He detailed some of his early plans.
“We went back and forth between a few ideas,” Dimitrov said. “A Grub Hub-type thing where we deliver food from restaurants that don’t deliver or about a golf ball with the GPS.”
Eventually Dimitrov settled on his current product, SnapClips. SnapClips are a replacement for the clips that hold weights to bars for gym equipment. The idea originated from slap bracelets that children slap around their wrist to clasp.
Since then, Dimitrov has pursued his business career and made it onto the hit show, “Shark Tank,” landing an investment with three partners: Alex Rodriguez, Lori Greiner, and Mark Cuban.
Coming to Central, Dimitrov hopes to help future entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground.
“[Talking to students] is really cool for me because I like just going and talking to a bunch of kids and just showing them, ‘Hey, I’m the same as you,’” Dimitrov said. “It’s a lot of fun sharing my experience with them and then hopefully helping them or inspiring them to start a business and take it as far as they can.”
Dimitrov spent time in college taking classes about finance and business. However, most of his experience comes from working on the job.
“I definitely learned a lot from just doing it, like trial and error, and definitely a lot from mentors too. People that are able to guide me in certain situations.” Dimitrov said.
After speaking to students, Dimitrov met with several groups to offer his advice and experience. He acted as a mentor to current students in a class that he found so helpful in his past.