As of Oct. 1, aspiring student entrepreneurs from the fifth-grade to post-secondary have the opportunity to present their business ideas and be selected to compete in a live audition of the up-and-coming Kamloops Junior Dragons’ Den. The Thompson Country competition will take place at TRU’s House of Learning on April 4, 2019. Applications are accepted until Feb. 8, 2019.
Nicole Plato, business analyst for Community Futures Thompson Country (CFTC), shared a few words on the competition.
“The competition is open to any student enrolled in any kind of academic institution in Kamloops or the Thompson-Nicola region,” she said. “Any student from grades five to post-secondary with a business idea can participate.”
Junior Dragons’ Den is a student business competition intended to evaluate and provide feedback on young entrepreneurs’ business ideas.
The competition will be separated into three categories including a junior level for students from grades five to ten, a senior level for high school students in grades 11 and 12, along with a post-secondary level for colleges, universities and trade schools.
To further develop elevator pitches and business concepts, candidates will be matched with local mentors in their pertaining industry.
Students are required to submit a proposal paper either for their business idea or to improve upon a pre-existing business model if that be the case. They should outline the five Ws of their business, along with detailing their associated start-up costs.
“I think the evaluators are mainly looking at the business concept paper; the who, what, when, where, why and how of business and to see if it’s a sustainable business idea,” said Plato. “The judges will have a certain criterion based on each level, so every student can have a have a fair shot.”
A selection committee will assess and select 15 candidates for the live pitch competition. Not all “dragons” or mentors have been formalized yet for the regional competition; however, according to Plato, Blair Gray, general manager of CFTC and George Casimir, general manager of Community Futures of Central Interior First Nations (CFDC of CIFN), have been confirmed as judges.
Modelled after CBC’s notorious “Dragons’ Den,” Junior Dragons’ Den originated as a West Kootenay-Boundary-wide student business competition five years ago and has proliferated across the province. This year, Junior Dragons’ Den will be featuring two regional competitions and a championship.
Students can download an application form on the Community Futures Thompson Country website under Junior Dragons’ Den and should be submitted to either CFTC or CFDC of CIFN.