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Christchurch students shine in virtual competition

Christchurch students shine in virtual competition

Commerce Minister and Christchurch MP Lianne Dalziel today presented an award to the Christ's College team which came second in a national virtual investment competition.

The Venture Capital Game, which ran for seven weeks from March, saw students testing their investment skills with a 'virtual' $2 million. Christ's College and Ellesmere College won second and fourth places, respectively, in the competition.

Christ's College's year 13 team of Zac Darby and Andrew Rice, grew their virtual venture capital from $2 million to $22 million in seven weeks, while Ellesmere year 12 students Luanna Lamers and Sarah Cameron were not far behind at over $20 million. The winning team from Te Awamutu College was only $91,000 ahead of Christ's College.

Lianne Dalziel said the competition demonstrated the practical and fun ways the government's Growth and Innovation Framework is working in local communities, with over 500 teams from 105 secondary schools taking part in the Small Business Company's inaugural Venture Capital Game.

"It is fantastic to see the enthusiasm and knowledge of these secondary students, who I am sure all have promising careers ahead of them. The Small Business Company Venture Capital Game is an excellent example of how the government's drive to foster innovation at a national level is working in practice in high schools in Canterbury," Lianne Dalziel said.

Venture Capital game co-ordinator Craig Rust said the game had two aims. "We want students to experience the thrill of investing and being part of the business world at the same time as putting the enterprise, accounting and economics skills they learn at school into practice."

Te Awamutu College won cash and vouchers from BDO Spicers to the value of $5000 and the top five teams each win a $1000 legal package from Venture Law. The top three teams have been offered business mentoring and free rent by the NRG Trust in Wellington if they decide to launch into real business. Subscriptions to NZ Business magazine are also part of the prize package for Christ's College and Ellesmere College. Prime Minister Helen Clark and Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton led a string of visits across the country today to celebrate growth through new ideas in the lead up to Budget 2003. Ministers and government MPs visited more than 50 businesses, schools and skills training organisations to see growth and innovation at work.

There have already been a number of Budget 2003 announcements which will foster further growth and innovation, such as the $85m package for industry training. The 15 May budget will contain additional measures to support smart growth and sustainable development, promote the commercialisation of good ideas and initiatives to up skill New Zealanders.

"This government wants to ensure that despite the likely global slowdown, New Zealand continues to be one of the healthiest economies in the OECD, with growth of over four per cent in 2002, and unemployment below five per cent for the first time in 15 years. The Labour-Progressive coalition government is committed to encouraging innovation to maintain sustainable economic development," Lianne Dalziel said.

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