Students meet ‘dragons’ to pitch business ideas

Entrepreneurial students at Tiverton High School came face to face with local business experts this month, as part of the school’s annual Dragons’ Den competition.

Each year students in Year 8 take to the stage over two days to pitch their business ideas to a group of local ‘dragons’, hoping to take home ‘investment’. With two investments up for grabs, the competition was tough for the students, who worked hard to convince the dragons that their business idea was worth backing.

The first day saw dragons Andy Pryce (James Pryce Tractors), Richard Evans (Cadence Investment Partners), Kate Wagner and Bryony Pullen (Heathcoat Fabrics) consider presentations from a number of the groups, before crowning ‘Team Motivate’ the winners for their ‘Doggy Day Cam’ idea.

Sitting in the chairs on day two were Chris Bowen (PETROC), John Fournier (Radius Hair Co.) and Malcolm Buttel (Oxygen Agency) who crowned ‘Team Believe’ the winners for their ‘Mood Watch’ idea, aiming to help learning needs in schools.

Also on the judging panel each day was Headteacher Sammy Crook. She said: “I thoroughly enjoy watching our Year 8 students take part in the Dragons’ Den competition. It is the culmination of weeks’ worth of hard work, and it’s wonderful to see the students’ ideas come together at the end.”

The students started work on their business ideas at the beginning of the term, and took part in workshops delivered by the experts to learn business and marketing skills, as well as developing their confidence in speaking and presenting.

English KS3 Coordinator at Tiverton High School, Natalie Westacott, organised the event. She added: “As well as being a fun, creative challenge, the Dragons’ Den competition is a great opportunity for students to build their confidence in important skills such as public speaking and listening. It wouldn’t be possible without the local business professionals who give up their time to inspire students with their business expertise and advice at the start, and then return to judge the finals of the competition, so thank you to all who participated this year. ”

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