On March 7, LRSD's annual Tigers' Den roared into the Legacy Centre with 80 students, 35 businesses, and 12 teachers for a day of collaborative problem-solving, biz plan writing and multiple idea pitches.
Upon arrival, the students were mixed with others from the seven high schools in the division. After a series of ice breakers, they began the work of pitching 80 pre-conference ideas to one another to determine a single business product or service to serve as the focus for the day.
Mariette Mularie, CEO of the World Trade Centre in Winnipeg, offered a keynote about embracing entrepreneurial verve and passions, citing the extraordinary story of energy bar Gorp, from Niverville Manitoba, as an example of perseverance, teamwork, problem-solving, and business savvy.
The teams discussed many key aspects of a viable business idea – target markets, branding, marketing, e-commerce, accounting – and used a LEAN Business Model Canvas developed for high school students.
They were mentored at each table by a mentor from the business community who helped student refine ideas and focus on solving a true problem for a customer.
The final hour of the day was a frenzy of activity, with 132 pitches flying about the room, all with the hope of getting 30 Tiger-Judges to invest in their product. Students were scored on idea, presentation, cardboard prototype, and investment potential.
The winning team created a company called Plant-stic, a compostable single use bag eliminating plastic bags. 2nd place, Flare, was a wireless charger to keep cell phones from losing power. 3rd place went to Harmony, an eco solution to dryer balls and sheets.
Jennifer Bell was a Tiger from Neovation Learning Solutions. "Whether they will or won't become entrepreneurs they walk away with a greater understanding of business and what it takes to be successful, an insight that will certainly be valuable regardless of their career."
98% of the students recommended the event to other students supporting research about Gen Z's keen interest in entrepreneurship.