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Students pitch their business ideas in Dragons’ Lair competition

27th May 2016

Business students from Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) were asked to pitch their business ideas to a number of local professionals, all hoping for them to ‘invest’ in their business.

Students pitch their business ideas in Dragons’ Lair competition

The College’s annual Dragons’ Lair competition, based on the hit BBC One series, Dragons’ Den, in which budding entrepreneurs get three minutes to pitch their ideas to five business professionals willing to invest their own cash, took place at NULC’s Knutton Lane campus on Monday 9 May and Monday 16 May.

The competition, which was sponsored for the seventh year running by Altecnic Ltd based in Stafford, welcomed judges who freely gave their time, advice and expertise to the hopeful students. Judges included Lesley Bateman, HR Manager at Altecnic Ltd, Kerry Bonfiglio-Bains, Managing Director at Appointments Personnel, Martin Langhorn at Barclays Bank, Sonia Clewlow, Managing Director at Purple Cow Training, Sheila Weightman at Breast Cancer UK and Louise Ziemann, Sports Centre Manager at The Gordon Banks Sports Centre.

Janet Heath, Lecturer in Business and Enterprise at NULC, said: “The students who participated excelled, showing exceptional creativity and business acumen. We’re all very proud of the students and I’m sure they’ll become successful entrepreneurs in the future.”

Also judging the competition was Kevin Pimlett from Telefonica, Sharron Freeman from Business Enterprise Support, Vicki Allen from Bhygenic and Daniela Santoro.

Each judge was asked to critique each business proposal by scoring the student(s) business idea, pitch, market research and forecasted income. They then had to select a winning team who would receive the prize of £70 each to help launch their business idea. The winning team was ‘Treasure Chest’, who proposed opening a toy shop selling educational toys for children where they can try before they buy. In second place was ‘The Bunker’, an indoor paintballing arena based in a warehouse that would overcome the problem of paintballing games being postponed due to bad weather.

Janet continued: “The students were assessed as part of their studies and the competition gave them a great insight into what it takes to set up your own business and become an entrepreneur.”

For more information about studying Business at NULC call 01782 254254, email or visit


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