The winners of the 2016 “Dragons’ Den Edition” of the Young Entrepreneur Competition were announced at an Awards event held at Okanagan College May 24th.

The competition, now in its 22nd year, is for students in Grades 7 to 12 and is a joint initiative between the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, School District No. 23 Career Life Programs, and Okanagan College School of Business.

QHR Technologies Inc. is the Title sponsor of the Awards event. “This event shines light on some great ideas, and perhaps more importantly, creates opportunity for young people to learn how to take an idea and make it happen. I was so impressed to see how well the students did in things like product innovation, business models, and public speaking. Regardless of their placing in this competition, they have all developed life-long skills from this experience.” said Mike Checkley, President and CEO of QHR Technologies Inc.

With the Central Okanagan having one of the highest rates of entrepreneurship in Canada, the aim of the program is to provide youth in our community with hands-on learning experiences while creating excitement towards the topic of entrepreneurship.

Schools entered in teams of 1 to 5 students with fifty teams signing up to compete. The students were tasked with creating or developing a product or service including a marketing and financial plan.

Students began to work hard on their business ideas in February. Teams were mentored throughout the competition by business professionals (the "Dragons") from many areas of the community and ENACTUS students from the Okanagan College School of Business. Out of the teams that started in the competition, forty-one teams competed at the District Competition on May 2nd and 3rd. All teams were invited to the Trade Show and Awards Ceremony on May 24th at Okanagan College, among them the Top 5 Middle and Top 5 Secondary School finalists, along with their parents and teacher sponsors. The top 5 secondary teams advanced to a live pitch competition to determine their final placement.

All students in the Young Entrepreneur competition are to be commended and congratulated for their accomplishment!!!

THE WINNERS!

Students have provided a description of their product or service and a short bio.

SECONDARY SCHOOL TEAMS:

First Place Team - $1,500, KV Cresties (Okanagan Mission Secondary) Josh Ruda

KV Cresties specializes in producing crested geckos as first time pets as well as everything affiliated with owning a crested gecko.

Josh Ruda was interested in the competition to be able to express the bright side of the reptile market and show how awesome they are as pets. Reptiles in general have a bad vibe out for them and he wants to enlighten people on these beautiful creatures.

Second Place Team - $1,000, MNK Apparel (Kelowna Secondary School) Kanaan McGoran

The MNK Hoodie has a distinct recognizable oversized monk hood, also incorporating sleek, clean lines, with convenient hidden front pockets. MNK hoodie show-cases the custom signature design that uses ultimate elegance and comfort without compromise. Each hoodie is created and perfected with detail to trim and quality. The signature design comes in a variety of seasonal fabrics and colors to meet the needs of spring, fall, summer, and winter. Price reflects top notch materials, design and iconic style for the modern man who is not willing to compromise, and has no problem spending money for quality and investment pieces.

Kanaan McGoran is 17 years old and in grade 11. He is the sole owner of MNK apparel. Ever since he was a kid, he has always been very fashion forward, with finding new trends and styles. When he heard of the Young Entrepreneurship Dragons' Den Competition at the school district, it was an amazing opportunity for him to bring his dream of launching a clothing line. He loves fashion and found it was the best way to display his personality and personal preferences. It has allowed him to show off not only his dressing style, but providing an opportunity to set trends. Instead of finding the new trends, why not physically set the bar creating his own style and trends, focusing on comfort and style, for all seasons. All his Dragons' Den winnings will be put towards launching the first line of MNK hoodies, and bringing to fruition his clothing line. The winnings of this competition plus his goal of pre-selling one hundred MNK hoodies will give him enough money to go to full production to launch his line. His costs include grading (sizing), samples, materials, labels, production, website, photographs and a video for his marketing plan.

Thank you for supporting me and my dream of launching MNK Apparel. Sincerely, Kanaan McGoran

Third Place Team - $750, Just Ask (George Elliot Secondary) Noah Dorsey

Just Ask’s mission statement is to eradicate the stereotype between teens and seniors using kindness. The primary market is seniors 65+ who live independently and need help with everyday tasks. This is unique because Just Ask offers teens a part time job to work with seniors that don’t need professional landscapers, carpentry and maids. It is a very customizable company because every teen brings something new to the table! Not everyone comes from the same backgrounds and will have something different to offer. Pricing is very competitive with students doing the work.

Noah Dorsey is 17 and in grade 11. He is the owner/operator of Just Ask. He grew up in Armstrong, BC and moved to Lake Country two years ago. He has been accepted into the Dual Credit Program for September 2016.

Fourth Place Team - $500, Little Acai Café (Mount Boucherie Secondary) Megan Morrow & Jada Jones

Little Acai Café gives people healthier, greener, more compassionate choices and access to nutritious, sustainable, plant based food. Their Acai Bowl Food Truck promotes the health of people and the environment and will be a catalyst for positive change in the Okanagan. Their product is a delicious acai bowl of blended whole, raw fruits topped with fresh organic toppings, served in a biodegradable bowl. Visitors and people who live in and love the Okanagan will find their mouthwatering dishes at their convenient mobile food truck - the ONLY healthy alternative in the downtown area!

Megan Morrow is 16 and in grade 11. She is a working member at the Cactus Club café. She is loyal and fun with a very energetic personality. One day she wants to own her own hotel chain. The Entrepreneurship course and this competition has given her a stronger understanding on how the business world works.

Jada Jones is 18. She is a heart-warming and positive person who loves to share ideas. She plans to pursue her business while attending Okanagan College for a two year business diploma.

Fifth Place Team - $250, Camiuw Creations (Kelowna Secondary) Micayla Upsdell-Witherly

Camiuw Creations is a button making business that makes and sells pins and magnets in packages of 1 or 3. Each package of 3 pins or magnets contains a page from a running comic series which references to the images that can be found on the buttons or packaging. Custom buttons can be commissioned for either personal or promotional use. They are for people of all ages but are mainly targeted towards people between the ages of 12-30. They will be sold at conventions such as Kelowna Fan Xpo, craft fairs, as well as in gift shops.

Micayla Upsdell-Witherly is the owner and creator of the Camiuw Creations. She is 17 years old and in grade 12. She joined the Dragons' Den competition hoping to jumpstart her journey into selling her buttons across the province and maybe even across Canada. She loves "all things creative" and even as a young child she told stories of mythical creatures and their adventures. One day she wants to publish her own manga series and hopes to start her own Gaming Company with her sister.

Best Trade Show Display - $500, Times Two Clothing (Mount Boucherie Secondary) Austin Sandrin

Times Two Clothing sells high quality, gently used clothing for men. We source only the finest garments, and specialize in luxury and designer brands such as Gucci, Hugo Boss, Armani, Canali, Versace, Valentino, Zegna, and Burberry. Our inventory offers a wide selection of suits, sportcoats, blazers, ties, shirts, pants, shoes and more. Find us on Facebook: Times Two Clothing

MIDDLE SCHOOL TEAMS:

First Place Team - $1,000 and free tuition to the 2016 Startup Skool Summer Camp in Kelowna, Doogoods (Okanagan Mission Secondary) Teagan Adams

A card game that teaches kids to do good, feel good and change the world for good. Doogoods is raising a new generation of UPstanders instead of by-standers who will end bullying and make kindness cool.

Teagan Adams is in grade 8. He is interested in this competition because with the money potentially won, he would be able to create an app or online community to further the Doogoods movement. Teagan successfully pitched his business in season 7 of CBC’s Dragon’s Den. Visit the Doogoods website.

Second Place Team - $750, Pocket Lock-it (KLO Middle School) Tanner Milligan & Jeremy Laverdiere

Pocket Lock-it is a product that Jeremy and Tanner designed and built. It is a little slip of durable mesh banner (fabric) that slides into the back of your phone case. It attaches to a coil lanyard that is retractable and very reliable. The coil lanyard attaches to you via a zipper or belt loop. Their product was developed so you don't have to worry about dropping your phone while doing various activities such as skiing, biking, fishing or photography. You could even use it on the construction site or whatever you choose.

Jeremy Laverdiere & Tanner Milligan are 12 years old and in the French Immersion Program. They decided to get into the Dragons' Den Event because they have seen the original Dragons' Den on TV and wondered how they could get started as an entrepreneur. The Pocket Lock-it insures the safety of your phone and remember, don't drop it lock it!

Third Place Team - $500, Brudders Creamery (KLO Middle School) Joel and Eric Worman

They are brothers and their business is selling ice cream to tourists and locals on the beach. Their ice-cream bike looks awesome!

Eric Worman is 15 years old and in grade 9. He can often be found riding his bike, as it is his favourite thing to do and he is good at it.

Joel Worman is younger at 13 years old and in grade 7. Joel can be found playing court sports, reading and also riding his bike.

Fourth Place Team - $300, Ultimate Controllers (Okanagan Mission Secondary) Jacob Petty & Max Purdon)

Ultimate Controllers is an Xbox controller customizing service. Jacob & Max estimate that their service is more than 300% less expensive than the competition. They decided to enter the competition because in the summer, they attempted to start their business and figured that their old method was much more expensive and impossible to fund so there were determined to change their methods to make sure that they could sustain them because they have a passion for what they do.

Jacob Petty is in grade 8 and moved to Kelowna before he started Kindergarten. He loves video games and hockey.

Max Purdon moved to Kelowna three years ago from Seattle and is also interested in video games and hockey.

Fifth Place Team - $200, Snuggly Sock Friends (KLO Middle School), Anna Baerg, Teagan Wright & Allie Clark

Snuggly Sock Friends are sock animals, rhinos, monkeys and sloths that have a rice pouch inside so you can heat them up in the microwave and they will stay warm. Their twenty dollar sales price = the 7.50 profit + 7.50 cost to make + 5.00 donation to the Ngogo Chimpanzee Project which helps to save engendered chimpanzees. The team plans to sell their products to customers at craft fairs, farmers markets and on websites such as Etsy, their website and their Instagram account.

Best Trade Show Display - $500, Pocket Lock-it (KLO Middle School) Tanner Milligan & Jeremy Laverdiere