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Young business brains take on the dragons

Published Monday, 17 July 2017

The district’s finest young business brains put their skills to the test last week at the final of the 11th Business Dragons event, hosted by East Northamptonshire Council (ENC).

The competition, organised by The East Northamptonshire College, saw teams of entrepreneurs from four local schools (Rushden Academy, The Ferrers School, Huxlow Science College and Manor School) pitch their ideas and business plans to a panel of local Business Dragons.

The ‘Dragons’ included Peter Waddup (Director of The Leprosy Mission), Lorna Wiltshire (Personal and Interior Stylist), Mark Carrington (Director of King Vehicle Engineering Limited) and Nikki Roberts (Manager of The Pavilion Youth Club).

The final, which was held in the Council Chamber on 14 July, gave the young people the opportunity to present their original business ideas to the panel, having considered the design of the product, finance, staffing, manufacture, competition and profitability.

The Dragons then tested the knowledge and professionalism of each team with rigorous questioning about the benefit and effectiveness of their ideas.

The winning team trophy (supplied by ENC and presented by the Chairman) went to Life Line from Rushden Academy. Their idea is to produce an app for smart phones that can instantly contact the emergency services if you are in trouble and it automatically gives them your location. It’s aimed at being an ideal solution for getting help if you are in an urgent situation and can’t ring for help.

The best presentation trophy (supplied by King Vehicle Engineering Limited) was awarded to Easy-Peel-y from Huxlow Science College, for their pitch of having an easy-to-use complete hair removal device for men and women. The device not only has razors but also an aloe vera cream that will dry and peel off pain-free to remove even the tiniest of hairs.

Spready Stick from Manor School, won the most original idea trophy (supplied by The East Northants College). Their idea is for an on the go device that easily spreads your favourite preserves/spreads for bread, waffles and croissants. Working like a Pritt Stick, you just twist and spread and you can purchase refills for it too.

Chairman of East Northamptonshire Council, Councillor Colin Wright, said:

“Welcoming the schools to the event was a privilege. With an average age of 14 years, the pupils had the opportunity to showcase their new inventions for the future. The teams all gave very impressive performances and it wasn’t easy for the Dragons to pick the winners. Well done to each and every student who took part, you should be very proud of yourselves.

“Innovation is a key element of economic development for us to sustain our local economy and from what I witnessed at this event, we need to continue to assist where we can in the development of our future entrepreneurs. We need to continue to support the creative ideas of our younger generation, since their creative minds are the future of our society.”