Math Meets Entrepreneurship: How Is Math Used in Business?

Find Out as Students Pitch Ideas in the Shark Tank!

In the "Math Meets Entrepreneurship" episode of Math at Work, young entrepreneurs explore the question “How is math used in business?” by going beyond math class to the set of Shark Tank. Along the way, they delve into questions including:

  • How important is math in business?
  • How is math used in business management?
  • Why does math matter when it comes to business?

Check out this video to see what it’s all about, and share it with your math students! Then, take a look at the lessons below that explore related math concepts.

The Math at Work web series features industry leaders who work directly with real students to demonstrate the power and importance of real-life math.

This episode of Math at Work is hosted by actress Tiffany Smith and spotlights student entrepreneurs Angela, Timothy, Crystal, and Mauro. Crystal and Angela have an idea based on a wearable device that helps both kids and their parents, while Mauro and Timothy come up with a way to connect young entrepreneurs to potential investors. Math expert Richard Blankman walks us through some of the math problems these young entrepreneurs have to consider and solve. The students present their business ideas to the sharks from the ABC® series Shark Tank: Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, and Kevin O'Leary.

The young entrepreneurs anticipate and provide answers to questions like these from the sharks:

  • What are your total sales?
  • What do you sell the product or service for, and what’s your margin?
  • What will your profit be in this calendar year?

As we see in the video, “entrepreneurs need to know the math behind their businesses if they want to get funded.” Many young people dream of making it big in business, but not everyone knows that math plays a major role in business success. Ready to give your students a sense of why math is so important and how it works?

Try These Ready-to-Use Lessons

Let students experience how math is used in business with these lessons. Then, consider asking them to come up with new business ideas of their own!

Lesson 1: Breaking Even

In this lesson for Grades 4–5, students use the four basic operations to find the break-even point of a product.


Lesson 2: A Model Comparison

In this lesson for Grades 6–8, students graph equations on a coordinate plane to compare earnings over a given period.


Lesson 3: Charting Expenses

In this lesson for Grades 6–7, students compile numerical data and create a circle chart to model business expenses.


Lesson 4: What’s It Worth?

In this lesson for Grades 6–8, students find the valuation of a company and use it to compare investment options.

***

Learn more about the Math at Work web series, an effort in which industry leaders work with real students to demonstrate the importance of math.