Date published: May 05, 2017

Students face the dragons

Some of the best and brightest young entrepreneurs of the future will have a chance to impress potential investors at our Dragon’s Den style competition.

The Innovating Future Business Competition on May 10 at MediaCityUK will pit students from eleven universities from across the country against each other as they try to impress five angel investors to part with their cash.

There is a prize pool of £5,000 but also the chance to gain vital future investment should the dragons be suitably impressed.

Alex Fenton, lecturer in digital business at the University of Salford, who organised the competition, said:  “The investors will be looking for proposals that demonstrate a viable business with a low cost of entry, evidence of sound market research, and crucially an innovative idea with the ‘wow’ factor.

“They will be able to award whatever cash they think a business deserves on the day, but crucially there is also the opportunity for them to invest long term in these businesses should they feel it’s deserved. That is a huge opportunity for these students.

“It’s so rewarding getting the students to work on a real idea that they can get stuck into and where there’s a real goal at the end of it.”

The event is part of the Salford’s Industrial Collaboration Zone strategy, which aims to work closely with business to ensure graduates leave Salford with skills needed for them to thrive in whatever career they choose.

The universities taking part are all members of the University Alliance and include Coventry, Liverpool John Moores, Portsmouth and UCLAN, as well as a team from Salford. The business ideas range from new, portable style gym equipment, a company that wants to create environmental blinds to a plan to make navigating hospitals and other big buildings easier by creating a Google Earth style app.

Alex Fenton added: “This event builds on the success of our previous innovation competitions, we are excited to run our latest Innovation competition featuring student teams from Alliance Universities. It’s the first time such a competition has been done in this way on this scale and we’re all excited about it.

“The competition aims to encourages innovative, forward-thinking business ideas. It’s the buzz that everyone gets from presenting and succeeding in these real life situations to companies and their peers that makes me proud. 

"Justyna Turner and our Enterprise Team at Salford have been crucial in helping the competition and their support for new innovative student ideas is crucial to what we’re trying to achieve at Salford."

The competition is for students and graduates of Alliance universities, in collaboration with The University of Salford and investors Cariocca Enterprises , Marketing Signals, Wakelet, ANS Group, Web Applications UK.

University Alliance Chief Executive Maddalaine Ansell said: “Entrepreneurship is core to the student experience at Alliance universities. It is one of the ways we equip graduates with the blend of academic, technical and professional skills they need to succeed in the fast-changing modern world.

“Alliance universities also provide a lot of support for students with ideas for business ventures and social enterprises. Alliance graduates account for 40% of the UK’s successful graduate start-ups.

“We hope that this competition will help a few more of our enterprising graduates take the next step with their business and social enterprises.”

The Enterprise team can help you turn an idea into a successful business by providing you with the necessary skills and competencies. If you are interested in this, please join their mailing list to find out what they are doing next.

More News