Young entrepreneurs venture into Dragons Den

Auckland regional winners selected for Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme pitch contest

Published: 30 June 2016
Filed under: Economic development, General news, Innovation, Invest

Young entrepreneurs from across Auckland have ventured into the ‘Dragons Den’ this week, pitching their business ideas to local business people as part of the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES).

YES – which is delivered in the Auckland region by Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development, on behalf of Auckland Council – gives year 12 and 13 students the chance to set up and run their own business for a year.

The programme pushes students beyond the normal boundaries set in the classroom, encouraging them to develop business skills through practical activities such as the Dragons Den-styled pitch competition which took place this week at AUT’s central Auckland campus.

More than 300 YES students from 51 teams took part in the 2016 Sanitarium Young Enterprise Scheme Auckland Regional Dragons Den Finals.

Each team was given five minutes to deliver a succinct and engaging pitch for the business plan they’ve created through YES, in the hope of impressing judging panels comprised of more than 30 volunteers from across Auckland’s business community.

Regional winners for Central, South, North, East and West Auckland were selected at the event – the first time a combined YES Dragons Den regional finals event has been held in Auckland.

The Auckland regional winners are:

• Girl Boss, Albany Senior High School (North Auckland) which aims to inspire New Zealand girls to develop their science, technology, engineering skills (and was also winner of the 2016 IDEAStarter youth entrepreneurship contest)

• Brightlife, ACG Parnell College (Central Auckland) which makes lycra cycling shirts with LED lighting sewn in

• Chopped NZ, Waiuku College (South Auckland) which creates chopping boards made from recycled timber

• Spice Boys, Ormiston Senior College (East Auckland) which makes spicy mayonnaise based on a traditional family recipe

• Arahina, Titirangi Rudolf Steiner (West Auckland) which designs basic brochure-style websites for small business owners.

Each winning team receives a prize of $1,000 courtesy of Sanitarium, while the second place team in each region receives $400 courtesy of Kiwibank.

Patrick McVeigh, ATEED’s General Manager Business, Innovation & Skills congratulates all the Dragons Den finals participants, and says feedback for the event “has been overwhelmingly positive from students and teachers alike.”

“YES is a fantastic opportunity to engage students through hands on activities like this Dragons Den event. “These practical experiences encourage innovation and creativity amongst a new generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs, and helps them develop the skills they need to be successful in business, and transform and grow Auckland’s economy.

” YES is one of a number of programmes ATEED delivers to support entrepreneurship in Auckland. Other programmes include the Tertiary Student Entrepreneurship Programme which helps tertiary entrepreneurs turn their ideas into a commercial reality; IDEAStarter for 15-24 year olds; and the DigMyIdea Māori Innovation Challenge.

For more information visit www.aucklandnz.com/business.