Young business brains impress in front of panel of 'dragons'

East Northamptonshire Council's HQ. The council organised its 13th annual Business Dragons event for young people earlier this month.
East Northamptonshire Council's HQ. The council organised its 13th annual Business Dragons event for young people earlier this month.

The next generation of Alan Sugars and James Dysons put their bright ideas to the test during the final of a Business Dragons event in east Northamptonshire.

The 13th annual Business Dragons competition, which was hosted by East Northamptonshire Council and organised by The East Northamptonshire College, saw teams of young entrepreneurs from area schools present their ideas to a panel of county business people.

Students from The Ferrers School, Huxlow Science College, Manor School Sports College and Rushden Academy pitched their business plans to a panel of 'dragons' that included the director of The Leprosy Mission charity Peter Waddup, manager of The Pavillion Youth Club Nikki Roberts, careers consultant and business owner Helen Featherstone, and head of family law at Northampton legal firm Franklins Solicitors Emily Carrington.

Prior to the final at The East Northamptonshire College on Thursday, July 11, the finalists had considered the design of their product, finance, staffing, manufacture, market competition and profitability.

Each team was then quizzed by the dragons on the benefit and effectiveness of their ideas.

After much deliberation, a team from Huxlow Science Academy was declared as the winner. They had designed an app, called Huver, which would list all the available cleaning services in an area. Its aim was to have all the best options for cleaning in one space, with app-users able to compare prices to allow for increased efficiency.

The winners' trophy, which was supplied by East Northamptonshire Council, was presented by the chairman of East Northamptonshire Council Dudley Hughes.

Runners-up were a team from Rushden Academy, who produced a new adults and children’s version of the classic noughts and crosses game which featured prizes for winners and challenges for the losers.

Third place was awarded to another team from Huxlow Science Academy, who created a radio frequency ID tag for clothing or other items that would enable the products to be correctly identified and returned to their rightful owners by scanning the tags using a smartphone app.

Councillor Hughes said: "It is important that young minds are encouraged to develop their ideas and acquire the business skills and knowledge that lead to being a successful entrepreneur.

"East Northamptonshire Council was pleased to host this year’s Business Dragons competition and, as previously, the standard of entries was brilliant.

"It is always great to see such young minds thinking of ideas that could change all of our lives.

"Well done to everyone who took part and we look forward to seeing these young people further develop their ideas.”