Hawke's Bay students conquered the heat of the Dragon's Den last week with entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation.

About 50 student groups competed in the Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce Young Enterprise Scheme, which culminated in the "Dragon's Den" finals at the Hawke's Bay Business Hub on Tuesday.

Seven teams from Havelock North High School, Karamu High School, Iona College, and one from Hastings Boys' High School pitched their business idea in the den.

Sharing a cash prize and the regional title was Iona College's Ruff Tucker team, and BCJ of Hastings Boys' High School.


Ruff Tucker, created by Year 12 Iona students Gemma Burnside, Lucy Treseder, Emma Wilson and Brennagh Mullins, was a natural, healthy, alternative dog-training treat made of 100 per cent dehydrated bull meat. The team said "we wanted our dogs to have the most healthy and natural treats ever, so we made our own ... dogs love this tasty treat, and there are no artificial additives or flavours."

They were selling their product at $10 per 150g, as well as wrist pouches to hold the treats while dog-walking.

The girls would continue to develop their business model as they worked towards the national finals at the end of the year.

They also received a special invitation to present their plan to the Hawke's Bay Business Hub.

Year 12 Hastings Boys' students Brian Towler, Callum Williams-Legg and Jade Bartle, of BCJ, came up with their Easy Strop idea after seeing the struggle of truck drivers on a day-to-day basis.

Callum said the tool itself was very simple but very efficient, and was used to wind up strops or tie-downs in a matter of seconds - doing so manually would take around a minute.

"The BCJ team was definitely surprised with the outcome of the competition, we were overall extremely thrilled when we found out that we had come first equal," Callum said.

"[We] are very pleased to know that we are the first ever HBHS team to have accomplished this massive milestone."

Head of commerce Kevin Atkinson said the team's product showed a lot of innovation. In the first year the school had taken part in the scheme, he said the calibre of all their 17 teams was high.

- To follow the Iona College girls' progress or to buy Ruff Tucker, visit ruff-tucker.mystorbie.com - or to find the boys of BCJ and their Easy Strop product, go to www.facebook.com/BCJLTD/?fref=ts