Castle Rushen High School team Solace wins Student Company of the Year 2020

April 6, 2020

Solace, a team from Castle Rushen High School, has won the Junior Achievement Student Company of the Year 2020 award.

More than 120 ‘A’ Level students from the island’s five high schools took part in Junior Achievement’s Company Programme which challenges students to set up and run their own business, then take their product to market.

Over seven months 24 student companies competed in the final, during which they exhibited their products at a trade stand fair at the Palace Hotel before being interviewed by a panel of judges.

The winners were announced at an awards ceremony at the Villa Marina on Wednesday March 18 which saw Solace – Leighton Ginty, Ben Smith, Jonty Bregazzi, Orry Gooberman and Emma Millward lift the Student Company of the year 2020 trophy.

Their business idea, Occativity, was a Wi-Fi device for monitoring customer footfall in retail outlets.

Presenting the trophy, JA Isle of Man board member Erica Bellhouse said the product had the potential ‘to go global’ and that the judges considered the team’s interview to be one of the best they had seen in recent years.

Solace’s managing director Jonty Bregazzi said: ‘The whole Company Programme experience was fantastic. Orry Gooberman came up with the idea then we all worked on its development and we were very encouraged by the response we got from retailers. We came together really well as a team and played to our individual strengths. We’ve not only gained in confidence but also learned a lot about each other…and about the real world of business.’

Junior Achievement Chief Executive Sue Cook thanked Isle of Man Government members, including Chief Minister Howard Quayle, for their support at a challenging time brought about by the global impact of coronavirus. She said the Company Programme was not only ‘life-changing’ but also ‘a true reflection of how businesses work’ and that for students to have to set up and run their own business was ‘no mean feat’.

Solace will represent the Isle of Man in the JA Europe Company of the Year competition in Portugal sometime in the future.

Student Company of the Year Competition 2020 winners:

JA Student Company of the Year Award
Winner: Solace, Castle Rushen High School
Runners-up: JET, St Ninian’s School
Third place: PureLife, Ballakermeen High School

MannBenham Advocates Award for Volunteer Mentor of the Year
Lynsey Elliott, Acclaim eGaming Services

Zurich International Life Award for Innovation in Business
Helium, Ballakermeen High School

Maggie Galloway Award for Inspirational Leadership
Rebecca Minay from Stratosphere, Ballakermeen High School

Barclays Award for Positive Social Impact
Elysian, Ballakermeen High School

Junior Achievement Award for Best use of Marketing
Zeleno, Ramsey Grammar School

KPMG Award for Financial Excellence
Sphere, Ballakermeen High School

Celton Manx Special Recognition Award
Harmoneer, Ballakermeen High School

Search and Select Award for Outstanding Team Member
Orry Gooberman, Solace, Castle Rushen High School

ELS Award for Best use of Technology
Solace, Castle Rushen High School

Department for Enterprise Students’ Choice Award
Elysian, Ballakermeen High School

To find out more about Junior Achievement, the Company Programme visit, contact Sue Cook, 666266, or follow juniorachievementisleofman on Facebook.