Credit: Courtesy of YELL

Georgiy Sekretaryuk and his team won YELL's 2016 Venture Challenge with Nero smart jewelry  

YELL’s Venture Challenge brings together some of the country's brightest young minds

For most people, great ideas flow from extensive experience. It takes years to fully grasp where and how to launch your innovative product or service.

For a select few, though, things come together at a much younger age. That’s why we have the Young Entrepreneur Leadership Launchpad (YELL) and its annual spring Venture Challenge, which sees teams of high-school students (or even younger participants) compete in the hope of getting their ideas off the ground floor.

The fifth Venture Challenge takes place May 14 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, and the competition promises to be fierce.

More than 200 competitors from 50 high schools are slated to make their pitches and hear from keynote speakers such as BCBusiness 30 Under 30 winner Tara Bosch and former governor general David Johnston.

The winners will receive prizes like lunch with the senior leadership of Goldcorp Inc., plus a tour of the Vancouver-based mining giant’s technology and innovation division, as well as cash to donate to a charity of their choice.

Past winners include 2016 champ Nero (formerly Cering Technology), a smart jewelry emergency alert platform that lets the wearer send out a distress signal if they feel threatened, and 2017 victor Bee Buddies, which helps seniors create community among themselves.