A U-Skills student has won an innovation award and $5000 worth of study scholarships at the Enterprise In Action (EIA) competition held in Auckland last week.
Seventeen year old Logan Bateman, an Ōtaki College student studying Business Enterprise one day a week at UCOL under the U-Skills Trades Academy initiative, was selected to attend the annual EIA weekend.
Run by the Young Enterprise Trust, the event involved 40 students selected from the regions of New Zealand, and 40 Auckland students.
One of the eight in the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise team, Logan and his fellow entrepreneurs won the Massey University Innovation Challenge to find an innovative way to improve nutrition in New Zealand's diet.
"We came up with a sheep milk drink product which would help improve Iodine, Calcium and Iron levels in New Zealanders by using sheep milk and kelp (seaweed)," he says.
Named MilkBaa, the product idea was considered a win-win solution for consumers and New Zealand sheep farmers alike. "We discovered that New Zealanders lack iodine, calcium and iron, that sheep milk has nutritional benefits that would improve diets, and that by piggy-backing a sheep milking initiative by the CDC we could increase the demand for sheep milk and thus the income for sheep farmers in the country."
The addition of kelp would increase iodine levels.
"Our marketing aimed the product for kindergarten and school starting aged kids – that way it could be consumed over more years than if it was created for babies as a formula, also it could be developed into a product for older kids, teens and adults as all their dietary requirement are slightly different."
The product was presented in sheep-shaped containers in packs of seven for one-a-day consumption, with flavour names such as 'baa-naa-na and 'choco-laate'.
Logan says the experience at Enterprise in Action was invaluable. "I met so many amazing people, and was billeted with Toby Carr who is my age and owns his own technology business, so I was able to get a sneak peek at how he runs his successful business from him."
He says he is enjoying the U-Skills Business course at UCOL. "U-Skills is one of the main reasons I'm still at school – I'm able to gain a certificate through the Business course which will hopefully help me to move into the workforce."
Though he wasn't planning on going to university, Logan is reconsidering now that he has $5000 worth of Massey University study scholarships up his sleeve. "I'm thinking more and more about learning business skills so I have the option of running my dad's automotive business when he retires. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can from the amazing people I am meeting."
U-Skills provides secondary school students the opportunity to attend UCOL one day per week developing industry relevant skills. Aligned with Vocational Pathways UCOL has a range of options to suit each student's interest area.