Dragon's Den's Kevin O'Leary gives Dieppe teen $5k boost
Grade 12 student Raphael Paulin-Daigle rewarded for entrepreneurial drive and passion
A business whiz kid from Dieppe has caught the eye of one of Canada's celebrity entrepreneurs.
Kevin O'Leary of Dragon's Den is so impressed with Raphael Paulin-Daigle he's given him $5,000 of his own cash to reward Daigle's entrepreneurship.
"I had a hard time believing it at first," said Paulin-Daigle, a 17-year-old Grade 12 student at Mathieu Martin High School." And so I'm like, `I just won this?'
"They selected, I think, 10 entrepreneurs from Canada, and I'm like`Wow, I'm like one of those," he said. "It feels great."
"Going through failures you learn what not to do next and what to watch for," said Paulin-Daigle. "It helps a lot. I say everyone should go through failure at least once."
Paulin-Daigle is now working on a service to help travellers with any questions they have, ranging from where to stay in a community or what to do when they are there.
Moncton entrepreneur Trevor MacAusland is one of his mentors.
"He's got more drive and passion than most seasoned entrepreneurs that I run into," says MacAusland.
O'Leary says it's that drive and passion that caught his eye when he watched Paulin-Daigle's video application for the $5,000 prize.
"Raphael doesn't know what he wants to do yet, but he so articulate that he wants to do it – that's why he won," says O'Leary.
"You just know this guy is going to try and create a business.
"He may fail, but it's so ingrained in his presentation," said O'Leary. "You can feel his desire to succeed as an entrepreneur."
Paulin-Daigle plans to invest the $5,000 in his new business.