Tuesday, 21 February 2017 11:00

High school students turned young entrepreneurs

Written by VCTeam

Over 120 students from six Western Bay of Plenty high schools took part in the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme EDay on Friday in Tauranga. 

The first Tauranga event of the YES year kicked off at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology’s Windermere Campus.

Tauranga youth and their teachers were welcomed into the newly opened architecturally designed Te Ara o Mauao student-learning building.

The high-energy event format served as a catalyst for students to get together, build a team and start developing a real-life business idea. 

Young Enterprise Trust Partnership Manager, Leah MacDonell, said "the ideation part is crucial as the student-led teams learn the process of starting a business, researching their respective industry, developing the product and launching their idea into the market."   She said the amount of community, government and business support was amazing nationally and that she continued to be thrilled at the support the programme received in the regions.    

Fourteen mentors from the local business community put up their hands and gave up their time to coach the students at the event. Anne Blakeway, Investor Relations Manager, Enterprise Angels is a regular mentor of fledgling teams. Speaking of her experience she said “I had lots of fun ‘speed coaching’ at EDay and I came away inspired by these teens. They all have started to form great business ideas.” 

In 2016, the team from Otumoetai College won the Regional Award with their Soap for Kids idea. Past YES alumni include young kiwi entrepreneurs like Jamie Beaton, CEO Crimson Consulting, Lisa King, founder, Eat My Lunch, and Jake Millar, co-founder and CEA, Unfilterered. 

“YES gives students the students the opportunity to take an idea out of their head and to turn it into a business. The support and feedback they get from mentors from the business community throughout the year is invaluable,” said Pascale Hyboud-Peron, YES Regional Coordinator for Tauranga/Western Bay of Plenty and co-founder of Venture Centre. 

The YES programme is delivered nationally thanks to the support of regional partners like Venture Centre. Both organisations share the goal of building an enterprising culture in youth, and Venture Centre can extend its role of connector between the business community and the students, while encouraging them in their business endeavours. 

Throughout the year, events organised to support the students will include E-Day, Dragons Den, Pitch Night, a Trade Fair, their own Regional Awards and the official National Awards Gala Dinner.  

For more information on YES in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty region, please contact:  Pascale Hyboud Peron 0211169087 pascale [at] venturecentre [dot] co [dot] nz  

Visit the Young Enterprise website: http://youngenterprise.org.nz/

YES Eday Speed Coaches are a fundamental component in helping support students, they include:

Amanda Gilbertson, Innovation and Commercialisation Consultant, Gilberton Associates

Graeme Wilson, Director, Wilson Logistics

Lynda Burch, Innovation Consultant, Tauranga City Council

David Hill, Manager, Papamoa Plaza

Karyn Grindlay, Private Banker, ANZ

Peggy McKenzie, Finance and Enterprise Tutor, Te Wananga O Aotearoa

Carolyn Melville, Founder and Director, Companies Trusts

Anne Blakeway, Investor Relations Manager, Enterprise Angels

Jo Allum, Co-Founder and Director, Venture Centre

Bryan Winters, Author and Public Speaker

Cecilia de la Paz, Education consultant, StartupChile Mentor

Nicola Daisley, Operations Manager, Bay Radiology

Jimi Hunt, Motivational Speaker, Founder Live More Awesome

Ajay SIngh,  Manager, BP Tauriko


MADVentures is a curated suite of programmes, events, and workshops designed by Venture Centre to support the digital and entrepreneurial capability of young people. It exists to inspire and equip them with the skills, tools, mindset and connections they need to make a dent in the universe.


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