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Dec 09, 2016

Where's Woolly? Takes out Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Company of the Year

A group of Nelson College students who put a Kiwi twist on a popular children's book has won the Lion Foundation's Young Enterprise Company of the Year.

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The school's business enterprise class reinvented the much-loved children's book franchise Where's Wally? The group of five had the idea to turn Wally into Woolly the sheep and hide him in iconic New Zealand locations.

The business' originality beat more than 600 companies across New Zealand at the Wellington awards on Tuesday night. Now the team has its eyes on the future.

Nelson College students Duncan Murray, left, Braydon Drummond, Alistair King, Ben Higgins and James Perham have won The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Company of the Year title.

Where's Woolly marketing director James Perham said he was in shock to hear their names called out at the night's awards.

He said the result was worth the team's 18-hour days, sleepless nights and dedication to the project for 10 months.

Nelson College Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme students Alistair King, left, Duncan Murray, Ben Higgins, James Perham and Braydon Drummond with Stoke School pupils and their Where's Woolly book earlier this year.

"Although it is the end of the Young Enterprise year, it's not going to be the end of the business for us," he said.

"It's almost indescribable and pretty surreal. When they announced our name, it felt like I just sat there for a minute with the room pretty much erupting, everything fell silent around me." 

On the night of the awards Perham's team was thrown into the "dragon's den" to pitch their idea to the judges. He said more than 40-hours were spent perfecting their idea.

He admitted some of their other class work had fallen behind, but each one of them felt they made the most of a "once in a lifetime opportunity".

Perham said they are now ready to pitch a new edition of the book to the Chinese market and a Christmas-themed version just in time for the holidays.

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