YES! The regional winners of Dragons’ Den

WINNING TEAM: Ormiston Senior College students Krishin Rama, Rylee Fraser, Vaneel Ram, Preyashi Deo and Kaden Naidoo leap with joy on winning the top spot at the Regional Dragons’ Den Finals. Times photo Wayne Martin.

`Phenomenal’ is how team Festivilia from Ormiston Senior College describes winning the Auckland Regional Dragons’ Den showdown– a key event in the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES).

More than 300 secondary schools took part in the Dragons’ Den contest at Auckland University of Technology last week.

The YES programme pushes the next generation of business leaders to go beyond the classroom and develop business skills by setting up a real business, marketing it and pitching for investment to the judges.

The team behind Festivilia worked on a glossy children’s book titled a Year of Festivals.

“There is no time to celebrate or rest after the win,” the team says.

Having sold 180 books to 10 local schools, clocking up more than 30,000 hits on Facebook and participated in the family expo Kids Fair and the Scholastic Book Fair, the team now wants to ensure that every school, bookshops, library and online retailer has copies of the book.

Illustrated by students Paula Alontave and Angela Wong, the book traces Bloop’s exciting adventure on earth as he learns about the diverse cultures that New Zealand celebrates.

The team took the initiative of asking Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy to write the foreword.

“She was very pleased to know the book celebrates diversity and has even asked us to get involved in the anti-bullying campaign she is working on.”

The team of five – Vaneel Ram, Preyashi Deo, Kaden Naidoo, Krishin Rama and Rylee Fraser- meet up every day after school to decide on how to sell, upscale and expand the business.

Group CEO Vaneel says: “Being a student and keeping up with your studies whilst trying to run a business can be stressful.

“Every day I wake up thinking how we can better our business.”

Rylee Fraser, communications director of Festivilia, says that they want Bloop, the central character of the book “to be a Kiwiana icon”. They are also going to work on Bloop merchandise.

The team is now working on the annual review company of the Year report that they have to submit in September.

This is the third time in a row that Ormiston College has won the Dragons’ Den.
Pakuranga College team ScrapCycle took second place at the Auckland Regional Dragons’ Den finals-.

Missing the first spot by just half a point.

Chief Executive Officer of the business Rishad Manecksha says: “It was extremely close, and the entire competition itself was very tough; all teams were at an incredibly high standard — East Auckland is the most competitive YES region.

“Although winning is great, I was in it for the experience, and the many things there are to learn in a competition like this,” says the 17-year-old entrepreneur.

“From here we carry on to take ScrapCycle forward — regardless of how close we were, it just means we have to work a bit harder.”