An Olympic hero and an oil company boss hailed the efforts of enterprising students from across the north east.
Sir Chris Hoy and First Oil chairman Ian Suttie were among the judging panel of the 2014 Young Enterprise Grampian competition.
The annual event pitted teams of fifth and sixth year pupils against one another by asking them to run a small business for a year, with the six elite teams showcasing their companies at the regional final.
This year 28 companies were created from 15 schools across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
The overall winners were Branching Out, a company from Inverurie Academy specialising in hand-crafted products made of wood. They will now represent Grampian in the national finals in Glasgow in June.
All participants were treated to a inspirational speech from Sir Chris and Aberdeen artist Shelagh Swanson at the event at held at the Marcliffe Hotel in Aberdeen.
Mr Suttie, whose company was one of the main sponsors of the event, said: “FirstOil are delighted to have supported the Young Enterprise finals for the last six years.
“I continue to be impressed by the focus, the energy and the excellent business skills displayed by the teams. Judging and selecting a winner was particularly difficult this year, with extremely high standards apparent in the of presentations, the trade stands and in the face-to-face interviews. My congratulations go to the winning team, Branching Out from Inverurie Academy – but all the teams who reached the final can be immensely proud of their achievement ”
Chairwoman Alena Fiddes also thanked First Oil as well as Shell, BP and ITC Hydraulics for their “continued support” of the competition.