As a learning opportunity this year, Ten Club participants went through a market research and branding ‘excercize’ to name their own club. They are pictured here on an outing to the the Wachiay Friendship center after screen-printing their new logo on a set of matching shirts. Photo supplied.

As a learning opportunity this year, Ten Club participants went through a market research and branding ‘excercize’ to name their own club. They are pictured here on an outing to the the Wachiay Friendship center after screen-printing their new logo on a set of matching shirts. Photo supplied.

Young Comox Valley entrepreneurs to pitch business ideas in annual Teen Tycoon Challenge

The annual business-pitch challenge is for participants of the Teen Entrepreneur Network

The future of business is in safe hands in the Comox Valley — look no further than the Teen Entrepreneur Network (TEN) Club.

The TEN Club’s second annual Teen Tycoon Challenge (TTC) will take place June 15 at the Crown Isle Resort and Golf Club. The competition gives teenagers in the Valley the chance to pitch their business ideas for a $15,000-prize package.

The TTC is put on by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island. On June 15, 10 Valley youths ranging from 13 to 19 years old will deliver their pitches, present their prototypes, and compete for a business services package. The teens are all members of the TEN Club and have spent the year developing their business ideas.

The pitches will take place from 6–8 p.m. at Crown Isle. A panel of “Dragons” from local businesses will judge the contestants and decide the prize winners.

Vivian Vaillant, a youth program supervisor with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island, is the co-ordinator of the competition.

“When I first took this on I was thinking lemonade stands and cookie sales,” she said. “I was blown away not only by the complexity of the projects these teens wanted to work on, but also their follow-through. It has been such an honour to work with every one of them.”

The prize package includes business card printing, website and photography services, continued business education courses, and other prizes. Vaillant says the package is entirely made up of donations from local businesses.

“The job for me is partly about helping them develop practical business skills, and partly about helping them get the resources they need to succeed,” said Vaillant. “Each project is so individual and they just need someone to show them how to knock on doors to get the answers they need.”

One of the participants this year is Tristan Rendell, who has been working on a program to offer locally made popsicles at the Comox Marina this summer.

“I like to be taken seriously,” said Rendell. “[TEN] Club has given me real-life information – not just watered-down stuff that most programs give. They treat us like adults and I appreciate that.”

Valley teens interested in getting involved with TEN Club for next year’s Teen Tycoon Challenge should email cvyouth@bgccvi.com. According to Vaillant, the program will start up again in September.

For more information on the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island and its programs, visit bgccvi.com