Denmark win for young Waikato entrepreneur

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James I 31 May 2017

The mentoring skills of a Waikato YES Alumni have helped a team of secondary school students clinch a Danish national business competition.

Former Hillcrest High School student and Waikato Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme national award winner James van der Klip was on an exchange in Denmark when he was asked to mentor a business team for the competition.

The Herningsholm Gymnasium team, which developed tablets loaded with cognitive games to help people with dementia, went on to win the competition and is now part of the Danish National Entrepreneurship Team attending the European Championships in Belgium in July.

James, winner of a national Young Enterprise Scheme excellence award in 2015 for his business Quartz Web Services, even had an opportunity to hobnob with Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark following the win.

“Due to my limited understanding of Danish I didn’t realise it was him for 10 minutes!” James said.  

James’ final month in Denmark will be busy as he helps the students prepare for the European competition.

“I'm working to balance the app development, including getting a cloud server running and bringing their tablet from prototype to scalable product - and I'll probably continue working on this once I hit New Zealand as well,” he said.

The tablet the team developed was loaded with games to cognitively stimulate dementia patients, including memory games. Family members can monitor statistics generated by the app on-line and upload video and photos of themselves to personalise the games.

Smart Waikato Trust manages the Young Enterprise Scheme in Waikato - King Country.