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Jun 11, 2019

Young South Canterbury business whizzes seek profit from pitches

Young business whizzes have pitched their ideas in the second of five Young Enterprise Scheme (Yes) challenges of the year at Alpine Energy's headquarters in Washdyke.

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Teams from four South Canterbury schools - Roncalli College, Timaru Boys High School, St Kevin's College and Opihi College - made presentations to judges Nyia Strachan, Leonie Rasmussen and Ben Millington on Thursday. 

The first challenge was held at the Ara Institute of Canterbury in February. 

Roaming teacher for Young Enterprise NZ Reagan Powell said students had five minutes to pitch their product to the judges and scored against five criteria - business idea, sales and marketing, production and finance, innovation and pitch.

Powell said the Yes scheme was a "valid school subject on the curriculum" and the skills it taught could not be learnt from a textbook.

 

"Students set up real companies. They're registered through the Yes so they do get some financial protection," Powell said. "They are exempt from IRD tax rules to give them a bit of a head start."

St Kevin's pupils Seth Humphries, Jerome Misiloi and Frano Flannery were confident their custom designed Swiss Army knife-style key storage holder had made a good impression on the judges. "I think we did quite well. Unlike the other teams we knew our product and did not read note cards," Humphries said. The team purchased the key holders from an overseas supplier, modified them and planned to sell them for a "handsome profit", Flannery said.

Powell said 4500 students from around New Zealand competed in the scheme and many opportunities were presented for them to explore during the year-long contest. "We've had students from South Canterbury who have won trips abroad," he said. Powell said two schools from the West Coast had recently joined the region to add to the four South Canterbury teams. "Ideally we'd love to have other schools from our region on board."

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