With their confident and articulate pitches, the six teams of innovative students from Jewish schools made the real contestants of Dragons Den look like amateurs.
The finalists, four from primary schools and two from secondary schools, each presented their ideas to the room of 250 guests and then took questions from four judges.
Praising all six pitches for their “outstanding quality”, judge Chana Kanzen praised the teams for their successful use of Jewish values, budgeting, sustainability and longevity. The PaJeS pitch was sponsored by the Genesis Philanthropy Group.
The winning secondary school was Kantor King Solomon High School, for their idea of creating an ‘Eco Club’ to implement positive environment changes. The judges were impressed by how “passionate” and “well researched” the project was.
Extensive preparation went into each pitch, with teams made up of up to four pupils learning about business plans, as well as how to research and present in front of a large audience.
Two primary schools were joint winners, with Sinai Jewish Primary School’s proposal for a ‘Broadcasting and Radio Studio’ being praised for its “uniqueness” and the manner in which it captured the “essence of the school.”
Menorah Foundation School’s idea of a ‘Science Nature Garden’ equally impressed the judges, who “loved how it would involve the whole school and community”, including those with special educational needs.
In a surprise twist, Andrew Wolfson of The Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust was so impressed by the high standard he pledged to fund all six of the projects proposed.
Speaking to Jewish News after the results, judge Anthony Wagerman said: “I found tonight to be a really humbling experience, and I’ve been so impressed by all the children’s enthusiasm and professionalism.
“If we believe our Jewish schools really are the future of our community, then you can already see why the community is going to be in great shape for the next decade.”