Pupils present their ideas to panel of Dragons in final

Alan Winter of DSV Ltd, Diane Walton of Nimlok Ltd with the three members of the Sip Clipz team from Rushden Community College, Melanie Wilton, teacher at Rushden Community College, John Coleman of Coleman Stationers and Peter Waddup from Scotts of Thrapston
Alan Winter of DSV Ltd, Diane Walton of Nimlok Ltd with the three members of the Sip Clipz team from Rushden Community College, Melanie Wilton, teacher at Rushden Community College, John Coleman of Coleman Stationers and Peter Waddup from Scotts of Thrapston
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A unique drinking tube designed by a team of pupils from Rushden Community College was named overall winner in a competition.

East Northamptonshire’s young business brains put their skills to the test at the final of the sixth Business Dragons event hosted by East Northamptonshire Council.

Five local schools - Prince William School in Oundle, Rushden Community College, Ferrers Specialist Arts College in Higham Ferrers, Huxlow Science College in Irthlingborough and Manor School in Raunds - entered teams of entrepreneurs in the competition, which was organised by Connexions Northamptonshire.

The teams of pupils had to pitch ideas and business plans to a panel of local Business Dragons.

The Business Dragons were Diane Walton from Nimlok Limited, Peter Waddup from Scotts of Thrapston, Alan Winter from DSV Solutions Limited and John Coleman from Colemans Stationers.

The final, which was held in the East Northamptonshire Council chamber, gave the young people the chance to experience how to put together a business plan and how to set up their own business in the future.

Each school had to come up with a business idea and factors they were asked to consider included finance, staffing, planning, the law, competition and profitability.

Each team gave a presentation to the Business Dragons who tested the knowledge and professionalism of the teams with rigorous questioning about the benefit and effectiveness of each of their business ideas.

Council chairman Cllr Clive Wood presented the prize for Best Overall Winner to Sip Clipz of Rushden Community College for their unique drinking tube that could be attached to any fountain or tap.

The Best Presentation Nimlok Ltd trophy was presented by Diane Walton to Bar W of Manor School for a briefcase that turned into a chair for commuters.

Best Innovation Scotts of Thrapston trophy was presented by Peter Waddup to Hangover Helpers of Manor School for their idea for an after-party cleaning service.

The winners also received prizes including vouchers for paintballing, bowling and stationery.

Cllr Steven North, leader of East Northamptonshire Council, said: “It’s heartening to see the effort and imagination these young business brains have put into their ideas, and I’m sure they all have a bright future ahead of them.”

Mike Hales of Connexions Northamptonshire said: “This is an important event in the calendar for each of the five schools. It helps the students to develop many of the skills that employers are looking for when they take on new employees.

“Each of the finalists from the five schools also received a certificate to include in their Record of Achievement.”