At the end of last year Takapuna Grammar School’s Young Enterprise Scheme was revelling in the success of one of its number – the Trident weather app — taking out the Best Digital Tech Company award at the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme National Awards. And then it came time for the school’s next generation of budding business entrepreneurs to be put through their paces at an Ignition Day, held at Devonport’s Level One community tech hub shortly before Christmas.
Around 30 TGS business studies students from a range of year groups, led by department head, Mrs Emma Johnson, were paired with local mentors Andy Scott, Anna Yallop, Craig Norris, Noah Maffitt, Narly Kalupahana, Simon Lampen and Stephen Goodger.
Following an inspirational talk from ex-TGS pupil Louis Gordon Latty, of Glory League fame, the groups were tasked with generating potential business ideas in a set timeframe, and working up a compelling pitch that was assessed according to the attractiveness and quality of their ideas. The purpose of the day was to bring the group through `ideation’, validating these ideas, killing off the weaker ones, then communicating the work back to an audience. Rather than being `all about the ideas’, the day focused on taking the students through a journey and preparing their mindset for their 2017 Business and Enterprise studies.
TGS was able to call on an all-star lineup of local judges including the CEO of SODA Dr. Claire McGowan and Flying Kiwi Angel, Rudi Bublitz. The judges gave feedback and encouraged multiple attempts to pitch and improve before their final team pitch to the judges and audience.
The results were:
Most Improved Team: Because improvement was the main point of the day, the main award went to Team Croissant who were supported by Stephen Goodger. `Croissant’ was named after an object on the table and is a mobile app for classic car enthusiasts. Team members were Hugh Barker, Jude Gair-Ah Siu and Jacob Silk.
Most compelling Play: Went to Team Trace (Nicole Linnell, Shayla Rua-Chase, Meg Wallace and Nicholas Young, supported by Narly Kalupahana). Trace is a tracking bracelet for keeping tabs on kids in difficult to manage situations.
Best Overall Pitch: Team e-Parking (Shannon Blackhall, Benjamin Fitchett, Annabel Thomson and James Torjussen, supported by Noah Maffitt) is a mobile app that identifies city parking spots and lunch deals near your meeting locations.
Each member of the winning teams was given a business book, kindly donated by Devonport Rotary, who are long-time supporters of TGS through scholarships and Youth Leadership initiatives.
Ignition Day frontman, judge and Devonport local, Duncan Ledwith said, “The day personified what being a community is all about – sharing, supporting and collaborating as to your skill and experience. It was hugely engaging and everyone benefitted, and not just the students!”
It is hoped that the Devonport community can run this event annually for TGS Business and Enterprise students.