11 November 2021

Pupil’s Idea Grows into Prize Winning Firm

A sustainable initiative from a Southland Boys’ High School pupil is sprouting in Invercargill.

Sixteen-year-old Kaylin Goodall has always described himself as a keen gardener.

So when the opportunity to develop a business as part of the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) came up, the natural pathway for him was to develop something related to his passion.

After helping his father grow vegetables in a hydroponic system for charity, he decided to create something similar but on a smaller scale so people could keep it in their kitchens.

‘‘The vegetables have done really well and they grow quicker than in soil with less water,’’ he said.

The company he has created, Sill, manufactures and sells indoor hydroponic herbs kits, nutrients and accessories.

Kaylin and Sill were named the YES Southland regional winner for 2021 at a ceremony hosted by the Southland Chamber of Commerce at the Southern Institute of Technology.

‘‘It was a bit of a shock to be honest … but obviously I’m very proud as the hard work has paid off.’’

He had sold 82 kits from March to October, each containing a 6.5l tub, six hydroponic pots and grow sponges, a packet of herb seeds, an air pump kit and a set of instructions.

Indoor gardening was ideal for Southland because of the region’s weather, he said.

The first part of the project complete, Kaylin had now developed and was selling a bigger hydroponic system.

He hoped to continue Sill alongside study and his job, as he started an apprenticeship at Nicol’s Garden Centre where he already worked.

The YES scheme had been ‘‘a great opportunity’’, he said.

‘‘So I really appreciate all the experience and I have learnt a lot.’’

Sam Pratt from Aparima College also found out he had won a national award, but will have to wait until the national competition in Wellington next month to find out what it is.

His IT business, Tech Angel, focuses on providing an affordable and reliable technology service for the elderly while also making friendships with each customer.

Although unsure about what he had won, he was pleased.

‘‘I’ve watched a whole lot of other teams winning most of the awards [during the regional part] and I didn’t really have much hope for myself …

‘‘But the final reward of the day went to myself and my business which I put a lot of work into,’’ he said.

‘‘I look forward to continuing to work with it next year.’’

Published by Otago Daily Times – 11 November 2021