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Entrepreneurs rewarded after Dragons Den showdown

29 June 2017

Secondary school entrepreneurs rewarded after Dragons Den showdown

Auckland regional winners announced for The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme


• Auckland students have been pushed beyond the normal classroom boundaries at the regional Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) ‘Dragons Den’ competition.

• More than 300 secondary school students took part in a Dragons Den pitch contest yesterday at Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

• Regional winners for North, South, Central, East and West Auckland were announced after a five minute pitch to judges.

• The Young Enterprise Scheme Nationals will take place in Wellington on 6 Decemberwhere students will be assessed on their activity throughout the year.

Budding entrepreneurs from almost 40 Auckland secondary schools have experienced exactly what it’s like to pitch their business idea ‘Dragons Den’ style as part of the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES).

More than 300 students entered the Dragons Den at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) earlier this week where five winning regional finalists were selected.

YES – which is delivered in the Auckland region by Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED), on behalf of Auckland Council – gives students the opportunity to set up and run their own business for a year.

The Auckland regional winners are:

Clear Free, Rangitoto College (North Auckland): a natural ingredient spray which has been developed to get rid of acne.

Easy Eats, Kings College (Central Auckland): a cook book for university students offering easy alternative meals which take up to 15 minutes to cook, and have been celebrity endorsed.

OLELEI, Henderson High School (West Auckland): a dairy free, vegan free, gluten free ice cream range. The team has now developed four ice cream flavours and introduced almond milk and almond flour to their product range. OLELEI won YES company of the year in 2015 and the West Auckland region in 2016. It won 3rd place nationally in 2015, and 2nd place nationally in 2016, and also won a YES National Excellence award for Pasifika Business in 2016.

Festivilia, Ormiston Senior College (East Auckland): a children’s book called ‘A YEAR OF FESTIVALS’ which the team has written and illustrated.

Foundry Collective, Westmount Auckland Campus (South Auckland): developed an online platform to promote and sell artisan products throughout New Zealand.

Each winning team received a prize of $1,000, with second place receiving $500, and third place $300; all courtesy of Kiwibank.

Dragon’s Den Judge Maria Fastnedge says students have come a long way in the seven years that she’s been a judge and a mentor.

“Students in Year 12 and 13 are putting forward innovative technology-based ideas rather than cupcakes and t-shirts, and they are exuding confidence and passion which are essential qualities of entrepreneurship,” she says.

Patrick McVeigh, ATEED’s General Manager Business, Innovation & Skills congratulates all the Dragons Den participants, saying there is no greater inspiration than first-hand experience.

“The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme encourages ideation and innovation, putting students through their paces and providing foundation business skills for the next generation of business leaders, who are integral in transforming and growing the Auckland economy,” he says.

YES is one of a number of programmes ATEED delivers to support entrepreneurship in Auckland including involvement in business accelerator programmes, iDEAStarter a competition for 15-24 years olds, and the DIGMYIDEA Māori Innovation Challenge.


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