Times and Transcript: Young Metro entrepreneur wins Future Dragon contest

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Times & Transcript 

Young entrepreneur Raphael Paulin-Daigle, a Grade 12 student at Mathieu-Martin High School, was very surprised when he found out he had won $5,000 in CBC-TV’s Future Dragon Fund Contest.

“It’s pretty exciting. I wasn’t expecting it because I had forgotten that I applied, so I was surprised when they called me and told me that I was one of 10 winners in Canada,” Paulin-Daigle said today.

He is the son of Jean Daigle and Fernande Paulin. The young entrepreneur and magician started his first business, an online magic store, at the age of 11.

The Future Dragon Fund Contest was launched by Montreal businessman Kevin O’Leary, one of the panelists on the popular TV show, Dragon’s Den. Through the contest, O’Leary is awarding a total of $50,000 to 10 ambitious Grade 11 and 12 students across Canada who show promise as current or future entrepreneurs.

“Dragon’s Den has been a lightning rod for entrepreneurial culture in this country, and I’m lucky to be a part of that,” said O’Leary. “Every day I meet bright, motivated, young people who want to become entrepreneurs. With this contest, I hope to encourage them, and help them get a head start on their future.”

Paulin-Daigle is the fourth of 10 winners.

In a news release, Dragon’s Den described Paulin-Daigle as “an impressive young entrepreneur, who started his first business when he was only 11 years old.”

He submitted a video to the contest which demonstrated his eagerness to become a successful entrepreneur.

“He has thrown his energy behind several start-ups already without hesitation or fear of failure, and is keen to learn more about what it takes to run a proper business,” said the release from Dragon’s Den.

Paulin-Daigle quickly realized that the online magic store he launched when he was 11 years old would be beneficial to be able to get feedback from experts in fields such as marketing and business, and so he built a website that would help businesses improve their marketing by getting their ads, logo or website reviewed by top marketing experts. More recently, he founded Shopulse.com and pitched his idea in front of investors and entrepreneurs. He is currently interning at Launch36, a program designed to help develop, mentor and support next generation entrepreneurs who are involved in high growth technology firms on the East Coast.

“With my successes, failures, experiences, and my future projects, I’m convinced that I’m headed in the right direction to become a future dragon,” he said.

Paulin-Daigle said he’ll put the $5,000 toward his next business venture. He’s working on an idea for an online pay-per-use entertainment and concierge service that will help customers with trip planning, booking hotel rooms and finding tickets for shows.

Now in Grade 12, he’s hoping to attend Dalhousie University’s entrepreneurship and innovation program.

For now, he’s taking the contest win in stride, saying he’s not “super-smart” but simply likes to put his energy toward being creative and generating income.

“I decided a long time ago to stop playing video games. I go home and I work at my ideas, it’s my passion and my love. I’m not super-smart but creating stuff is my mission, and if I can use my creativity to make things that I can make a living from, to me that’s real success.”