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NSCG Business Students Enter The Dragon’s Lair

NSCG Business Students Enter The Dragon's Lair

NSCG’s(@NSCGNewcastle) annual Dragon’s Lair competition returned for another year, seeing talented Business students pitch their ideas to local employers and entrepreneurs in hopes they will ‘invest’ in their business.

BTEC Business students were set the challenge to work in small teams and generate a business idea, analyse viability and decide on the most suitable micro-business start-up for them. The groups were required to construct a full business plan, competitor research, a marketing proposal and financial forecasts, as well as outlining the legal factors of their idea ahead of the judging day.

On Thursday 22 May, a number of both returning and brand new ‘dragons’ settled in at the Newcastle campus to meet the future entrepreneurs and hear their proposals. The line-up included professionals from Intercog LTD, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue, Appointments Personnel, Cyberkiln, Purple Cow Training, TMT First, Enjoy Staffordshire, NEIDA, E.A.R Wax Removal, Keele and Staffordshire Universities, Staffordshire & Shropshire Health Informatics Service, Early Years Leadership and Barclays PLC.

The student groups were judged on their business plans, and the four with the highest score were invited into the Boardroom to present their ideas in more detail and take questions from the dragons, who then selected the worthy winners.

First place went to ‘Postguard’- a revolutionary new product that aims to make the chore of painting a fence a whole lot easier by protecting fence posts from spills and damage. The team wowed the boardroom with a passionate and informative presentation. Elise Woodward, Lewis Redfern, Charlie Jenkinson and Lucia Reece certainly rose to the challenge and impressed the judges by taking control of the boardroom and showing no signs of nerves.

Second place went to Juuked, an innovative app that can be used by customers inside a variety of venues to customise music to personal tastes. Saraj Aujla, Levin Cope, Jo Drazkovic and Daniel Shah demonstrated sound business knowledge and real appreciation of how this app could be applied. The panel were so impressive one Dragon invited them to discuss how this idea could be developed further and brought to market.

Made up of Cai Price, Robert Dumitru, Callum Jones and Dilraj Singh Mann, Soupa Smoothie bagged third place. The idea of making healthy, nutritious smoothies aimed at improving people’s diets hit the spot with the judges, as did their comprehensive business plan which drew praise from a variety of dragons throughout the day.

Completing the top four was Beautique, an online beauty company that supplies customers with a range of essential beauty products each month. Lauren Latham and Maddie Taylor made up the budding beauty entrepreneurs team and despite admitting to some ‘pre boardroom’ nerves before the presentation, they gave a confident and informative presentation that impressed the Dragons.

Mike Hulme, Lecturer in Business at NSCG said:

“Dragon’s Lair has become a highlight in our calendar and it was a huge success again this year. It’s great to see how much the students get out of the challenge- they have the opportunity to be creative, push boundaries and put their learning to the test. We’re really proud of what they achieved.

“I’d like to thank all of the local businesses and entrepreneurs who came along to support the event. They represented so many different industries and highlighted the wide range of careers that our students could go into. The knowledge and advice that they were able to offer as ‘dragons’ was invaluable and a real source of inspiration.”

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