Talbot Heath

Lower 4 in the Dragons' Den


Lower 4 Dragons Den presentation evening at Bournemouth University Executive Suite on Monday 16th March 2015 by John Reidy

From the moment the Lower 4 girls found out about their business/ICT Dragons Den project they were keen to get started and choose their teams. The aim was to decide on a product to pitch to a panel of Bournemouth entrepreneurs, hosted generously by Bournemouth University at their Executive Business Centre at the Lansdowne, and to put together a professional presentation which would win them the prestigious prize to be awarded by the sponsors, Barclays Bank. We are very grateful to Barclays and to Dean Moore, who opened proceedings and introduced the teams, for helping make this special evening possible.

Once the teams were organised, the real business of meetings, animated discussions and, sometimes arguments, got underway. The girls spent long hours debating the most pressing issue of all. After all, this first crucial decision could mean the difference between success and failure. Students could be seen gathering at break times and lunchtimes, in the ICT rooms and corridors, form rooms and dining hall, to make sure they got the BIG DECISION right. Eventually, having considered important factors such as materials, design, colours and accessories, the teams finally agreed on the outfits they would wear on the big evening!

Next, they turned their attention to the products they would pitch to the Dragons. These could be original ideas or modifications of existing products. This proved difficult at first but, after some slow starts, when ideas and opinions were considered and rejected or put to one side for later consideration, the teams came up with an exciting array of great suggestions to be the next big consumer hit. They then worked on developing their products’ design, features and packaging and strategies for pricing, promotion and distribution to customers.

The variety of ideas was truly impressive and included products for hair grooming, pet care, fashion clothing, fashion eyewear, makeup, iPad accessories, fun animal covers for vacuum cleaners, a self –heating food bowl and one app for sharing problems and another app which enabled you to dress models in clothes you could then buy for yourself. The girls made highly professional presentations speaking with clarity, maturity and authority about their products.

The Dragons, who were Angela Fletcher, founder and MD of Rock Recruitment, Emma Winhurst, a successful entrepreneur, and Robin Taylor from Barclays Banking, listened intently and did not hold back with searching questions which the girls answered with assurance and imagination. The Dragons were clearly impressed by the standard of the presentations, the creativity of the products and the professionalism of the girls who were a credit to Talbot Heath and ambassadors for young people.

The Girls were clearly delighted with their achievements whilst being visibly relieved that they had met a tough challenge and risen to the occasion admirably, with every one of them making a valuable contribution to their team and the whole event. The evening culminated in the awarding of prizes and trophies.

The Dragons Den 2015 winners were, in reverse order: fourth prize was awarded to Hannah Glatter for her ‘Vacuum Sleepers’ animal cover and lullaby. Third place went to Charlotte Wellbeloved’s and Anna Yeadon’s ‘Switch It’ personal grooming adaptation of a penknife. Second prize was won by Eleanor Seery’s and Natalie Wong’s ‘Dog Bone’ multi-function dog collar. First prize was awarded to Katy Bates, Kristina Cooper and Claudia Glowacka for their Octavia Chameleon range of make up in a small portable stackable tube.

The standard of products and presentations (and outfits!) in this competition gets higher each year and this year was certainly the best yet. Those of us who are involved cannot wait to see what great products Talbot Heath’s future entrepreneurs will dream up for the consumers of tomorrow.

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