It was Venture Development Day at Portage Collegiate Institute this past Wednesday. It's held each year and Business Teacher Gavin Taylor explains students showcase their business ideas in the multi-purpose room.  

"We've got a variety of different businesses that students have worked on over the past few months and they're here to show off what they've done. We've got a student selling lanyards, milkshakes, lemonade, and candles. I've got a student who's showcasing a video game he's working on building. I've got a group that's making a podcast. There's a whole mix of things."

TaylorTeacher Gavin Taylor

He says "PCI Bucks" are given to those coming to view the ventures, and they coordinated judges from the community to come in and vote with their money, giving it to the students participating at the booths. The winner was selected at the end of the school day by having the most PCI Bucks.

"The students have worked really hard and I'm super proud of them; really proud of my students," adds Taylor.

Grade 11 student Jackson Neufeld presented Jackson Sweets, a home-baking business, with his sister.

"Today, we sold lemon sugar cookies, and chocolate chip cookies," says Jackson. "We ended up selling out in 45 minutes. We some votes, but  I haven't had much of a chance to Market myself because everything's kind of gone. There are ups and downs , making the profits good, but hopefully I can make it more later in the week and sell again."

Callum Smith and Jackson NeufeldCallum Smith and Jackson Neufeld

He explains the opportunity offers good practical education. He notes they usually just study in class and create plenty of writing, but selling and interacting with customers and people is an excellent skill to have out in the real world.

Grade 11 students Deacon O'Ray and Tyson Chandler based the name of their business on a joke song, Milkshakes.

"We are actually making milkshakes. They're milk. They're cheap. You're not paying an arm and a leg like you would at DQ or even McDonald's. They're small, but they're good and you can trust them." 

Chandler says he and O'Ray started off early on after he asked him to be his business partner.

"I said we could do it and it's just been going along good ever since. Money's flowing in and I really enjoy it. Right now we have a strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate. Strawberry is our best seller right now, which was a surprise because we thought chocolate would be going like hot cakes."

O'Ray says it's great entrepreneurial practice. 

ORay and ChandlerTyson Chandler and Deacon O'Ray - Milkshake

"I want to go into business once I graduate if football doesn't work out. So, It's a good start; upselling people. 'Hey, maybe you want to buy one for your friend, too? Maybe you want to buy a couple cuz they're smaller.' Stuff like that. "

One of those who checked out the businesses was Grade 12 student Avery Klyne who also was taking payments by debit for the businesses. She says she honestly felt it's great to see people's creativity take over.

"Just like how much time and effort some people put into their projects. I did not vote for any of them; I was too busy rushing around taking all the payments."

AveryAvery Klyne

She says one that caught her eye was a table selling a variety of Filipino food.

"It just it looks really good. I actually had some and it was really good. Oh, and also the candle business. It was also pretty good. I'm proud of all the people who've worked hard in there for like half a year. They did great. "

The winners of the votes for best Business Venture are as follows:

  1. Tropical Flames Candles - Nadia Charrington and Geneva McEwing
  2. Paradisiac Plastic - Johnny Merrick and Mason Schmidt
  3. J&E Resin - Ella Harkness and Jaden Knight