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Dec 10, 2019

YES Superstars Celebrated at 2019 YES National Awards

Cashmere High School students have been awarded The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Company of the Year for their business Pivot. The company was awarded $3000, as well as a $5000 scholarship for each company member to the Massey University Business School.


On Wednesday night, hundreds of people gathered at the TSB arena to celebrate the achievements of New Zealand’s most outstanding young entrepreneurs. More than 4000 senior secondary students have taken part in YES this year, setting up over 1000 companies between them. Only 21 of those companies made it to the National Final, and only one was crowned YES Company of the Year.

Regional Champions from across the country came to Wellington yesterday to pitch in the dragon’s den style National Final and attended the awards dinner where they found out which companies won a share of the $23,000+ cash prize pool.

Pivot has invented a sports strapping tape that turns ice cold upon contact with water. The product combines the support of strapping tape with the cooling of an ice pack, allowing the user to recover faster while avoiding the immobility caused by an ice pack.

Second place was Top That! from Tauhara College. Top That! 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.



Purpose Swimwear from Albany Senior High School came third. The company sells sustainable and diverse women’s swimwear made from plastic waste such as bottles, bags and fishing nets collected in the oceans. The company was awarded a $1000 cash prize and $1000 for their school.




Among the judges for the competition were: Murray Gutry (Trustee for The Lion Foundation); Haley Mahoney (General Manager B2B Sales for BP); Peter Howe (Senior Corporate Banking Manager from HSBC); Ian Musson (Business Manager Māori Economy at Callaghan Innovation); and Rachel Taulelei  (CEO for Kono and Board member for YES). 

Young Enterprise CEO Terry Shubkin said that this is her favourite night of the year for a number of reasons:


"I love this night because we're celebrating the students' successes, failures and triumphs of the YES year but I also love this night because, more importantly, tonight is a sneak-peek of what the future holds - a future of leaders, changemakers and disruptors."  Terry Shubkin


This event was the culmination of the companies’ business year. Over the past year, 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.


Full list of YES National Excellence Award and Supreme Award Winners:

The Lion Foundation YES Company of the Year (1st Place)
Pivot, Cashmere High School
The Sir John Todd Memorial Award for 2nd Place
Top That!, Tauhara College
The Todd Corporation Award for 3rd Place
Purpose Swimwear, Albany Senior High School

Ministry for Primary Industries Growing NZ Sustainability Award: Food & Fibre

MUDTech, Papa Taiao Earthcare, Kaitaia College & Kaitaia Abundant Life School (Northland) 

BP Award for Social Enterprise
Boomerang, Wā Ora Montessori School, Lower Hutt
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Award for Innovation
Purpose Swimwear, Albany Senior High School

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Award for CEO of the Year

Lambrini Phillips - Wero Mai, Wellington East Girls' College

Unitec Award for Accounting and Finance
EduCard NZ, Otago Boys' High School
Ministry of Youth Development Award for Resilience
Eco Kits, Northland College

The Tourism Industry New Zealand Award for Tourism

Patiti Point, Roncalli College (Timaru)

HSBC Award for Environmental Sustainability

Wrapt, Tauhara College (Taupō)

Sir James Fletcher Award for Most Inspiring Teacher

Matt Benassi, Cashmere High School (Christchurch)

NZ Aid Award for Solving a Development Problem

SoilSorb, Kumanu High School (Hastings)

Gallagher Award for Smart Technology

LoyalKiwi, Saint Kentigern College (Auckland)

National Excellence Award for Rangatahi Entrepreneurship

Te Kete ō Tangaroa, Havelock North High School

National Excellence Award for Sales and Marketing

EduCard NZ, Otago Boys' High School

National Excellence Award for Pasifika Business 

triPle, Palmerston North Girls' High School