Over the past three decades, Phil Black has built a record of unique accomplishments including: DI college athlete, Navy SEAL Officer, Goldman Sachs Investment Banker, bootstrap entrepreneur, 2X Shark Tank contestant, Performance Coach at Johnson & Johnson, firefighter, husband and father of four sons. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Phil’s two oldest sons (identical twins) will be attending Yale University in the fall.
Phil Black is the creator of PrepWell Academy - an innovative approach to preparing high school students (and their parents) for the rigors of the college admissions process. His unique program is delivered online and focuses on the early preparation of students (freshman and sophomore year) interested in attending highly-selective colleges (e.g. Ivy League, Stanford, MIT, etc.), military service academies (e.g. Naval Academy, West Point, etc.), and those seeking athletic or ROTC scholarships.
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As far as I know, I am the only person in Shark Tank history who has visited "the Tank" as the Founder/Owner/Operator of two of my own businesses. This was quite a feat. The stories I can tell are endless - especially about Season 11's taping with my four sons. Unforgettable!
In some ways, this is evidence of my unique superpower -- the ability to get selected for some of the most competitive and sought-after programs in the world. The path that leads to such success lies in coordinated and well-executed preparation. The same goes for the college admissions process. If your child is looking for someone to show them how to use this skill to their advantage, you've come to the right place. It was my distinct honor and privilege to put myself to the test one more time in the Tank.
In 2014, I appeared on Shark Tank for the first time to pitch a fitness business that I founded 12 years ago called FitDeck -- a deck of custom playing cards with exercises on the faces that could be shuffled to create unlimited random workouts. By then, we had developed over 40 different titles to serve a variety of needs (e.g. FitDeck Yoga, Stretch, Pilates, Lacrosse, Basketball, Baby Stroller, Junior, and dozens more).
The Sharks passed on my vision to move the content from the physical world (playing cards) to the digital world (mobile devices) - despite having sold over 500K decks of playing cards (totaling over $5,000,000 in sales) from our garage. We survived The Tank and ultimately sold FitDeck a few months later to a fast-growing consumer products company who loved our products, story, and brand.
After selling my FitDeck business, I turned my attention to preparing my four young children for the rigors of high school, the college admissions process - and life itself. I had heard rumors about how quickly this stage in life creeps up on you and I do not like surprises. At first, I thought I was a bit early to this game - but I was wrong.
I searched far and wide for the best resources to help my sons. I found a few compelling resources, but none that had the comprehensive, long-term, step-by-step roadmap that I was seeking. I also had a hard time finding engaging personalities and stories that might resonate with my teenagers. Teenagers are tough nuts to crack, and a generic checklist of "to-dos" from a corporate and sterile-looking website was not going to cut it.
So, like any self-respecting entrepreneur, I decided to build it myself.
This led me on a multi-year journey of research, discovery, study, creation, teaching, and testing. Every time I turned around, there were more layers to unravel, deconstruct, and rebuild. It turned out to be a beast of a mission - one that I love every minute of.
I went back to school to get credentialed in College Admissions Counseling, read scores of books on college preparation, and began to mentor several classes of high school students. Boy, was that an eye-opener! This hands-on experience with the students inspired me even more to build the best (and earliest) college admissions preparation program in the country.
PrepWell Academy is an empowerment program for high school students that uses the college admissions process as its model for instruction. The significant tasks and responsibilities inherent in this process mirror real-world challenges that await students in college and beyond. We help students develop the critical personal and professional skills to face such challenges with confidence and strength.
I teach students how to approach this intimidating process with the same strategies and zeal that helped me achieve success in the most competitive, selective, and elite organizations in the world (e.g. Yale University, Harvard Business School, Goldman Sachs, Navy SEALs, Entrepreneur, Shark Tank, etc.).
Enrollment is open during 9th and 10th grade. Students who enroll by 10th grade are given access to the 11th and 12th-grade curriculum as they move through high school. The 11th and 12th-grade programs are not available to students who were not PrepWellers in 9th or 10th grade.
The plans guide students (and their parents) through different stages of self-reflection, discovery, and preparation - the hallmarks of a successful college experience, career, and life. Students (and their parents) receive weekly videos so that information can be accessed and digested at just the right time and in just the right doses.
If you want your child to acquire the skills, mindset, and confidence to succeed in high school, the college admissions process - and beyond - PrepWell Academy is a great place to start.