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PCI trio cleans up at business competition

By Brian Oliver, The Graphic

Portage Collegiate Institute students Kailee Fraser, left, Kyla Smith, middle, and Layne Coltart show off their awards from the New Venture Championship May 26 at UofM. (Submitted photo)

Portage Collegiate Institute students Kailee Fraser, left, Kyla Smith, middle, and Layne Coltart show off their awards from the New Venture Championship May 26 at UofM. (Submitted photo)

Thanks to the hard work from a few aspiring entrepreneurs, PCI has earned the distinction of Manitoba's best business school.

Portage Collegiate Institute (PCI) Grade 12 students Kyla Smith, Kailee Fraser and Layne Coltart got a taste of the business world May 26 at the Manitoba High School New Venture Championship at the University of Manitoba and brought home ample hardware for their efforts.

"It was a good learning (experience) because you get really good feedback from judges and business people that have had experience," said Smith. "They gave us really good feedback on how to improve."

Smith partnered with Fraser to launch LEEF Kosmetics and created an all natural, organic lipstick that moisturizes while giving your lips a pop of colour and earned first place in Trade Show Display, first place in Idea Pitch and third in Business Plan.

"It's very humbling knowing that our product has paid off and even see successful business people in the Winnipeg area recognize our hard work," added Fraser. "We put in a lot of hard work throughout the year, even last year we were thinking about our product."

An automotive innovation impressed the judges enough to earn Coltart and his business Coltart Car Detailing a pair of second place finishes in Idea Pitch as well as Business Plan with his mobile car detailing service.

"Coltart Car Detailing is an interior vehicle detailing service that comes directly to the customer," he explains. "I came in with only my thoughts, but coming out of it, talking to different people and judges on what I should do to further my business and how I can improve it and offer it to more people (was very beneficial)."

Along with the student's individual accomplishments, the New Venture Championship selected PCI as the top business school at the competition.

"I'm pretty confident that that award will lead to some pretty big successes within the program in the coming years," said Sean Hopps, PCI business teacher. "I feel like that kind of distinction for the school is going to definitely trickle down to the younger grades. I know a lot of Grade 10 and 11 students look up at these three and see what kind of things they can do once they get into the grade 12 year, and they've already started brainstorming ideas."



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