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2018 Semi Finals

The semi-finals of Durham University Business School’s Dragon’s Den competition 2018 took place in March. Competition was very hard fought with a high standard both of ideas and presentations. Due to this excellent standard, the judges couldn’t pick just five finalists and one reserve, so this year’s final will have six teams competing with one additional team in reserve.

10 teams made it through to the first round of Dragon’s Den eliminations; with a total altogether of 16 students in the semi-finals. There were 5 undergraduates and 11 postgraduates in the teams, with 7 being female and 9 male.

Ideas that competed included:

  • making a new form of briquette suitable for domestic heating fuel.
  • an app to stop students over-spending on nights out.
  • a crowd-funding scheme to raise deposits so that first time buyers can get on the housing market.

Julie Wilson, Chair of BAM Leadership & Leadership Development SIG, who organised the event, said:

“Many thanks to our three great judges: Dr Sophia Andreski, Professor Christos Tsinopoulos; and Noel Higgs. Also to Dr Karen Langdon for compering the competition and making sure both the contestants and the judges kept to time.”

This year, not only can students win prize money and mentoring for their business idea, there is also an additional prize, The Ian Stone Award for Innovation. This will be given to the business idea that shows the greatest creativity and innovation in tackling a real-world problem with an entrepreneurial solution.

One of the judges in the competition, Dr Sophia Andreski, said:

“It was with utmost pleasure that I judged the Durham Business School Dragon's Den semi-final. Thought-provoking, innovative, and worthwhile projects were presented by enthusiastic and knowledgeable students. Many projects will surely succeed as business ventures; I was proud to be able to further their progress.”

The 11th Dragon’s Den Final will take place at Mill Hill Lane, 4pm on Tuesday 1 May.