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."
When Paulin-Daigle was 11, his first online business venture was a magic store. It didn't work out, but it hasn't stopped him from trying different business ventures.
"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.