A year ago, 100 students, 35 business professionals, and 12 teachers gathered in the Louis Riel School Division (LRSD) Legacy Centre and immersed themselves in the world of entrepreneurship at the annual Tigers' Den competition.
They spent the morning in student teams creating a business plan and pitching it to 'Tigers' from the business community.
The learning, skills development and one-on-one mentorship was significant. Many burgeoning relationships between students, teachers and businesses emerged on the day.
In 2021, the Tigers' Den did what everyone in the world had to do: go remote.
A group of 40 students, as single or two-person teams, created 30 two-minute video pitches in the comfort of their homes or a quiet space in their schools to share with ten Tigers who assessed this year's submissions.
The top three finishers solved real-world problems in the marketplace:
Kenwren Apilado, a grade 12 student from the Career Internship Program at Windsor Park Collegiate, created AllergyFree, an app that identifies meals on restaurant menus that help those with allergies make the right food choices.
Boubacar Basse from the New Media Program at the Louis Riel Arts and Technology Centre (LRATC) shared LinkMate, an app that combats hackers who try to take over phones by alerting users to odd or faulty emails, texts, and online shopping messages.
Justin Patrocinio from the LRATC Applied Business Program created a program called Yes Youth Can, a youth empowerment program to empower students to engage social activism or business ventures in their community.
The ten Tigers who donated their time came from a variety of businesses in the community including Neovation Learning Solutions, Bold Commerce, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, HP Change, Futurpreneur Canada, Peak of the Market, TechMB, and RBC.
Caroline Ksiazek, Business Development Manager from Futurpreneur Canada, felt the Tigers' Den was the "best medicine" a for a lingering pandemic.
"All I can say is WOW… if this is the next gen for entrepreneurs we will be in biz for a long time."