Dragons’ Den 2014
Four teams successfully fought their way to the final on 19 March from an original 20+ entrants. This annual competition provides an opportunity for hopeful student entrepreneurs to pitch to a panel of Dragons to win financial and practical support to advance their original idea.
Teams have just six minutes in which to impress the Dragons - and a public audience - to win the prize: mentoring and start-up support for their idea. After their pitch, teams were questioned by the Dragons. Questions included a variety of practical, financial, logistical, and international business realities.
Our Dragons - Steve, Sophia, and Bryan - are no strangers to the business world. Each is a successful business person in their own right and are chosen because their experience enables them to offer constructive feedback and entrepreneurial insight to the teams. Professor Ian Stone and Durham University Business School thank the Dragons for their involvement.
Dragons Den 2014 finalists were:
Cynthia Alubala and Ravi Kiran with Pearl Hunt, an initiative aimed at supporting talented university students to create IT jobs directly from University.
Raja Singh Bhurji with Citric Designs, a platform which targets the fashion-conscious on a budget
Bhanu Samrat with Surprise Me, a venture to introduce sample-size, high quality chocolates and beverages to potential consumers via a monthly subscription.
Gillian McLeod with EasyGo, a portable, adaptive lifting tool designed to make life easier for the elderly and disabled.
Gillian, a first year Economics student, was the overall winner. Her presentation included a prototype printed on a 3D printer for the Dragons to preview. Gillian will receive £1000 in funding from the Centre for Entrepreneurship along with mentorship from the Dragons to help EasyGo succeed. Gillian also went on to be runner-up in the University’s Blueprint business plan competition.
The Dragons, Professor Stone and the audience remarked on the high standard of the ideas and the exceptional quality of the pitches. Every team received a certificate and will benefit from professional feedback and on-going support from the Dragons.
Professor Ian Stone thanked everyone involved for giving their time and talent to this year’s Dragons’ Den competition.