Henderson High School students have been awarded The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Company of the Year for their business Volt Electrics. The company was awarded $3000, as well as a $5000 scholarship for each company member to the Massey University Business School.
On Thursday night, hundreds of people gathered at the TSB arena to celebrate the achievements of New Zealand’s most outstanding young entrepreneurs. Around 4000 senior secondary students have taken part in YES this year, setting up over 900 companies between them. Only 21 of those companies made it to the National Final, and only one was crowned YES Company of the Year.
The twenty-one Regional Champions from across the country came to Wellington yesterday to pitch in the YES National Dragon’s Den Final competition and attend the gala dinner where they found out which companies won a share of the $20,000+ cash prize pool, and who took out the winning spot.
Volt Electrics create sustainable and affordable e-bikes using recycled laptop batteries, and old bikes that were otherwise destined for landfill. They now have four battery pack products available and have secured placement opportunities with AvantiPlus.
Second place was Top That! from Tauhara College which sells 100% vegan, all organic meal toppings to add flavour to even the blandest of meals. Top That was born of sole trader Olivia Moore’s love of health-conscious and scrumptious food. The company was awarded $2000, as well as an additional $1000 for their school.
‘Limitless’ from Nelson College came third with their product the ‘Nanosign’. The Nanosign is a cost-effective and innovative sign to cover speed signs and improve road safety in New Zealand. The ‘Nanonsign’ will lead the change in the way people react to road maintenance zones and change the predisposition that drivers currently have on speed signs. The company was awarded a $1000 cash prize and $1000 for their school.
Among the judges for the competition were YES Alumni and Eat My Lunch founder Lisa King, Business Development Manager of HSBC, Peter Fogarty, and The Lion Foundation Chairman Simon Whyte. Young Enterprise CEO Terry Shubkin said the YES National Awards were her favourite night of the year for a few reasons:
“Today/tonight is so special for us as it’s the grand finale of the YES year. All of the hard work that these students have put in to their business over the past year from conception through to production, marketing, sales…it all comes down to tonight/today. More importantly this is a sneak preview of what the future holds. The young people here will be our next decision makers and game changers, and YES is so proud to have played a role in that. This is only the beginning of what these people will achieve.” – Terry Shubkin, CEO, Young Enterprise
This public event was the final culmination of the companies’ business year. Over the past 10 months these students have created and run their own businesses right from conception through to production, marketing and sales. The one-year programme gives students an authentic learning experience that prepares them for life after schooling by teaching entrepreneurship and connecting them with the business community.