Queen’s Students brave the Dragon’s Den to win £10,000
Queen’s University Belfast’s Dragons’ Den, sponsored by Cavanagh Kelly and Tughans Solicitors, came to an electrifying end again this year with 12 competitors braving the den to pitch their business idea to a panel of business experts.
With this year’s prize pot totalling £10,000, competition was fierce. Over 90 students applied, all aiming to brave the den and have the dragons fund their business idea to get it to the next stage. Following an initial shortlist of 24 business ideas to the quick pitch stage of the competition, 12 finalists were then selected to pitch their idea to this years’ Dragons – John McKee, Linkubator; David Bradshaw, Invest Northern Ireland; Grant Edwards, Tughans; Catherine Martin, CavanaghKelly and Denise Murtagh, Dungannon Enterprise Centre.
The competition is one of many initiatives organised by Enterprise SU, the unit responsible for student entrepreneurship within Queen’s University, to help Queen’s students develop enterprise skills and start their own business. Throughout the competition Enterprise SU provide business support workshops as well as specialist mentoring to prepare the students for the panel of experts who will decide their fate.
The final decision proved a tough one with the Dragons choosing to split the £10,000 investment amongst 3 of the 12 competitors.
Catherine Martin from sponsor CavanaghKelly said, “The standard of business ideas and quality of the pitches exceeded all of my expectations. The amount of talent on show in the Den was a credit to the students, Enterprise SU and all those who have worked with the students in preparation of the event. The awarding of the £10,000 prize pot was an extremely difficult decision for the Dragons, The future of the NI economy is definitely bright if we can continue to foster such talented, entrepreneurial students”.
Grant Edwards, Associate Director at Tughans, said: ““The breadth and quality of the ideas and competitors on show made for an inspiring final and left the judges safe in the knowledge that the future of entrepreneurship in Northern Ireland is bright. In the end, even once the dragons had agreed to split the prize money among a number of teams, the final decision was fraught with debate. Congratulations are owed to all competitors”