Mallet Head Explores Connections Following INCubatoredu Pitch

students giving presentation
(from left) Caed Mitchell, Tyce Anderson, Zander Hubbard, Emma Splawn, Peter Olusanyaf. Photo courtesy Midlothian ISD

Moving Forward With A Revolutionary Product

Not everyone with an idea gets funding from the wealthy entrepreneurs on the TV show “Shark Tank.” It doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great idea, however.

After all, from those appearances come strong connections, regardless of whether one of the Sharks goes into business with the presenter or not. Many businesses have grown simply from their appearance.

And that is what the group of Midlothian ISD students known as Mallet Head are hoping for. Though they didn’t receive any funding from their national pitch as part of the INCubatoredu National Final Pitch Night, part of the Uncharted Learning National Summit 2021, they still plan to forge forward with their project with complete confidence.

Mallet Head created and pitched revolutionary percussion mallets.

The team of Mallet Head team members include CEO Zander Hubbard; Emma Splawn, CFO; Tyce Anderson, marketing; Peter Olusanya, supply chain manager; Caed Mitchell, lead engineer; and Noah Hobin, quality control. The students were part of the INCubatoredu program at the MILE  (Midlothian Innovative Learning Experience) campus in MISD.

The group was one of five from across the country selected to give a national pitch. And while they didn’t receive any funding from that experience, they did receive $7,500 at the MISD Final Pitch Night.

Exploring Opportunities Through Connections Made

And, in a moment mimicking the effect of the popular TV show, MISD Executive Director of Communications Sheri Brezeale noted the national appearance grabbed special attention from one of the judges in particular.

“One of the National Pitch judges actually reached out after the event offering to connect Mallet Head with the UT (University of Texas) music department,” she said. “They also have gotten a connection with Innovative Percussion, one of the competitors they mentioned in their pitch.”

Brezeale added that up next for the team is forming a LLC (limited liability company), along with following up on connections generated from their national pitch, and production/manufacturing.

Nikki Nix, Director of CTE and The MILE in the MISD, said Mallet Head’s success is only an example of the great minds in her program.

Starting Fresh With New Ideas

“We are so #MISDProud of not just Mallet Head, but all of the INCubatoredu students this year. There are many innovative, outside of the box ideas that came out of their collaboration and think tanks,” she said. “Several groups will have all or part of their team coming back for a second year next year. They will continue their work, connecting virtually with students who have graduated, or pivot ideas and start fresh with a new idea.”

And, of course, Mallet Head and the entire program has the continued support of numerous community business leaders and industry professionals.

“The way that these professionals have poured into our students, mentored them and provided an inside expertise into the workforce is humbling,” Brezeale said. “These community partners are difference makers for these kids. They are helping to shape the future workforce, creating a hiring pipeline for local, state and national business and industry.”

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Rick Mauch
Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and three granddaughters