A group of innovative students in New Zealand recently received recognition for their entrepreneurial skills. The group of teens from Coastal Taranaki School in Fairfax, New Zealand won the Taranaki Young Enterprise Scheme for a battery charger that uses a USB flash drive to juice up rechargeable batteries.
The clever and promising entrepreneurs were teens Jack Cruden, Jared Wooldridge, and Laine Davies. The USB battery charger that won them their school’s Young Enterprise Scheme title currently sells in New Zealand for $15. According to officials and the teens themselves when asked what made the invention stood out, what won the competition for them was the fact their product represented “affordability, portability, and convenience.” The trio also competed for their school as Team Enport. They managed to edge out over twenty other businesses comprised of high school-aged students to be named winner of the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme. As prize and part of the title, Cruden, Wooldridge, and Davies won $1500 in the form of prize money and another $1500 in the form of a computer package that will be donated to their school.
But what is of most interest is how the Coastal Taranaki students came up with their entry for both contests echoes of sound business skills. When they were brainstorming ideas for their product, many ideas came up, from a noodle dispenser to selling ginger beer (which was actually the original idea). All those ideas were scrapped when the students realized that it wasn’t at all practical to try and invent a product given the limited time and nearing deadline. Instead of trying to invent a product, they decided to import one that already existed – just not in their target market. The trio searched the internet for a product that met the qualities they were looking for (affordability, portability, and convenience) and finally settled on the USB battery charger, a product they found on online store catering to the Chinese market. When they noticed that there were no businesses in New Zealand selling the charger, the teens decided to contact the online store and arrange to have the store source them the chargers. The result of their boldness was a couple of entrepreneurial titles.
Next up for the Coastal Taranaki students are the national finals, where they will compete again on December 4, and this time in Wellington, New Zealand. Good luck to these geniuses!