Back to overview

Youth Entrepreneurs Excel at Annual Competition Finale

From the desk of Sandra Ballan-Brown, COEDC For Immediate Release May 20, 2010 Central Okanagan/Kelowna - The winners were announced for the 2010 Dragon's Den Edition of the Young Entrepreneur Program May 17th at a special luncheon at the Coast Capri Hotel.  The program is a joint initiative between the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, School District #23 Career Life Programs, and Okanagan College School of Business for students in grades 7 to 12. With the Central Okanagan having one of the highest rates of entrepreneurship in Canada at 97%, the aim of the programme is to provide youth in our community with hands-on learning experiences and create excitement towards the topic of entrepreneurship.

The theme of this year's competition was to "Create Your Own Summer Job - Tourism".  Students started working on their projects in February and were judged by professionals from many areas of the community.  Students had to complete three tasks which included creating their product or service, developing a financial plan, and a marketing and promotion plan. The competition is highly successful, as over 50% of task three teams take their business concepts to the start upstage.

The 2010 Award winners are:

Secondary School Winner of $2,500

Kelowna Secondary School Team iTour Kelowna consisting of Allie Lemoine, Kristen Valnicek, Kassia Vinci, Kayleigh Zinger-Harris.  iTour Kelowna created an iPhone and iPod Touch application to promote local tourism. (examples of their work is attached)

Middle School Winner of $1,000

Okanagan Adventist Academy team Neeko consisting of Nicole Dacre and John Eek with their Okanagan Cases business.  Their product; hand crafted cases shaped as fruit inspired by Okanagan orchards and vineyards are ideal for a Bluetooth headset, spare change, cell phone or keys.

Business Development Bank of Canada's Small Business Incubator Grant

The BDC provided students with the opportunity to receive a grant to apply towards actually running their business for the summer.  Successful grant applicants were Vernon teams Green Cards and Christopher's Crepes, and the Henna Hut team in Penticton.

Innovation Awards provided by Axel Partners

This award is provided to the team that shows the most creativity and innovation in the development and execution of their business idea.

Middle School Winner of $250

Dr. Knox Middle School Team Water Walkers consisting of Sagar Chopra, Robert Luo, and Sara Speight.  Product - innovative water toy.

Secondary School Winner of $500

Kelowna Secondary School team OK Valley Beach rentals consisting of Kelsey Marinov, Hilary Regnier and Brett Rothenburger.  Service - beach toy rentals. We would like to extend a heart-felt thank you the sponsors for their commitment to making this event so successful. Continued support of this program has helped make the vision a reality by helping to offset the cost of the program supplies, the luncheon and awards. For further information: Sandra Ballan-Brown (250) 469-6280