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The Business of Giving Back

The Business of Giving Back
The Business of Giving Back

Last week we were delighted to welcome three Aiglon alumni back to campus as guest judges of our business department’s Chocolate Product Startup Pitch Challenge initiative.

Our alumni judges were of diverse backgrounds: from Fred Ernand (Belvedere, 2004) - CEO of local real estate firm Gérance Service; to Kristina Edvinsson (Le Cerf, 2005) - Owner and General Manager of the nutrient packaging company Gelpell AG; to Jeremy Harold (Alpina, 2005) - Head of Finance, Switzerland & Austria, at Dyson. 

In preparation for the event, Year 10 students had been briefed to develop, in teams, engaging concepts and proposals for a chocolate product that is both enticing for the consumer and environmentally sustainable, with a realistic business plan and through a convincing startup pitch presentation.

Once the projects came to fruition, on the day of the competition itself, judges had a hard time selecting finalists as each project was seriously tantalising and well presented! We would like to congratulate all of the 17 participating teams for their creative ideas and professional demonstrations. One of our judges commented, “[I was impressed] how confidently they spoke and how much they knew that I forgot most were only 14 years old!”   

As you will see in the accompanying photos, each project was unique whether for its packaging style, for the product ingredients, for the way in which the product could be utilised, or for the marketing elements developed. 

Ultimately, our judges had to select winning projects, and here they are:  

Best Overall Winner: Team Bombe au Chocolat (Yani, Oscar and Dylan). The judges thought this winning idea, which encapsulated chocolate truffles that could be popped in a warm drink, was the most viable and marketable. They especially loved the sustainability element of the waxed paper wrapping.

Best Pitch: Team Bloomie (Elise, Talitha and Alex). The all-female team displayed confidently and professionally, with a charming, fun and creative presentation, with the use of graphics, and moving images. Their idea was aimed at children and teaching them about the environment. Their chocolate came in recycled paper with wildflower seeds for the children to plant thus living on in another form.

Best Trade Stand: Team Biochocco (Elsa and Jason). This pair had worked incredibly hard on their idea and put great effort into developing and presenting their trade stand, which looked beautiful. Clear descriptions of their product and marketing campaign were excellent, plus they even developed their own website which was impressively detailed.

Best Team Work: Team Sweet Bark (Amelie, Emilia and Alyssa). The Business department noted how focused and productive this team had been throughout the runup to the competition, always with the end goal in mind of creating a fun, marketable and sustainable idea.

This competition experience left a memorable taste for all involved. We are immensely impressed with our teams and their chocolate box projects and hungry to see whether these types of experiences will influence the paths they take in the future once they are themselves alumni.

Like the famous expression - life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you get - suggests, we never know what is round the corner but at least we can rest assured that our students will be better versed, with the support of our school and its alumni, should they decide to develop their own startups one day.

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