Teens pitch business ideas

21:05, Jun 05 2014
timaru dragons den
YOUNG ENTREPENEURS: Members from the Timaru Boys High School team Slopes NZ showing off their hoodie prototypes, from left, Billy Morgan, Scott Francis, Nick Lyon and Joe Cook.

Timaru teenagers stepped into the dragons' den yesterday, pitching their ideas for future business ventures.

Around 50 students in teams from Mountainview High School, Roncalli College and Timaru Boys' High School, took turns facing a panel of judges at Aoraki Polytechnic as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme.

Each team had five minutes to present their product and ideas to judges Ken Wills of Ken Wills Furniture, Polytech business tutor Diane Turner and Peter Burt of Stonewood. They then received individual feedback on their pitches.

Among the groups presenting to the judges were Slopes NZ, a team of four year 13 students from Boys' High.

The group had designed special hoodies targeted to skiers and snowboarders.

CEO Billy Morgan said they were nervous going into the presentation but it went better than expected.


Aoraki Polytechnic communications manager Bronwyn Hargraves said the pressure cooker investment simulation was made as real as possible.

The judges had $150 cash to invest with, but the main focus was the feedback given so the teams could continue their projects, said Hargraves.

She said the students treat it as a proper business environment.

Roncalli College team Goon Squad all wore suits to pitch their product of socks which will also raise money for charity.

Team member Tom Anderson said they came up with the idea of blue socks, working with the clothing company CCC, to sell during September to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer.

This is the second time the dragons den was run. Last year two schools and 16 students were involved.

Goon Squad was given $50 by each dragon. A Mountainview High School team called Distinction was also given $50 by each dragon for its "mapkins" - napkins printed with maps. They hoped to sell them to local restaurants and cafes.

Slopes NZ received $100 in total and Jaspier from Mountainview High School was given $50 total for its international recipe book.

This money goes into the businesses finance.

The team with the top mark for the year will be decided in December. They will go to Wellington to compete in the national competition.

The Timaru Herald