A total of 11 brave entrepreneurs walked into a den of dragons at D&A College on Thursday 18 May 2017.
Drawn from across Dundee and Angus, local entrepreneurs, people with nascent businesses and folk with just an idea, signed up to the Enterprise Dragons event – a dragons den type challenge held in Enterprise@D&A Arbroath Campus.
Competing for a share of £5000, business ideas on the night ranged from art sessions for children to health services for older people; property management to games development; a mobile barbecue restaurant to running a gin festival; doll-making to dressmaking, and a host of services in between.
Participants had three minutes to convince the panel of the viability of their business idea.
Then they endured a five-minute interrogation from the dragon horde comprising Shona Young, of Kirriemuir-based firm, Nutscene; David Hay, mobile app development company, Waracle; Jillian McEwan, Fresh Food Express based in Arbroath; and Iain Penman, Lindsays Solicitors.
To add to the pressure participants were on stage in front of an audience of friends and family and members of the public.
Radio Tay doyen Ally Bally, acted as compere on the evening.
In the end six businesses were rewarded with help of various kinds:
My Wee Pal: a start-up making Scottish themed dolls.
Pocket Sized Hands: a start-up VR company focusses on creating original content and working with contracts to make exciting and innovative Virtual Reality Software.
Art Bubble: is a new series of art workshops devised for children from three years to Primary 7 stage. and within
Karen Hamilton: budding textile designer.
Wild & Smoky: Wild and Smoky is a mobile restaurant cooking and serving the best of Scottish ingredients in a “Low ‘n’ Slow” barbecue method which is particular to the Deep South of the USA.
Enterprise lead, Lol Scragg praised the entrants, “This has been a really inspiring year with lots of very strong pitches from a wide variety of budding businesses.”
Dragon David Hay added "As my first year as an Enterprise Dragon, I was very impressed at the pitches that were delivered by these fledgling entrepreneurs. It’s never easy pitching to strangers, but add in some dragons and an audience on top of that, it certainly takes a confident individual to deliver their pitch succinctly and with impact. It was great to be part of the event and fantastic to see local businesses benefiting from the evening and I look forward to tracking the progress of the successful candidates!”
A total of 23 entrepreneurs pitched up to D&A College on Thursday 8 September 2016 as they competed for a share of a £12,000 pot.
The entrepreneurs, from all over Dundee and Angus faced a panel of experts comprising: Andrew Stirling, Stirfresh (growers, processors and packers of fresh produce); Liz Jackson, Fairways Business Support and Recruitment Service; Theresa Wishart, Journeycall (contact centre); and Richard Nessitt, Zudu (web design and app development).
Each of the contestants had just two minutes to convince the panel that they had a viable business idea.
The judging panel praised the high standard of the presentations, which didn't make their job easy, and the following participants were chosen as winners:
Alison Tonner – Bella Home Gifts and Accessories
Kalie and Bryony Taylor - T-Potters Café
Keira Stocks - Innate Bridals and Event Management
Peter Davidson – FUNdamental Football Boot (also won incubator space)
Jen Nicoll - Rockpools and Daffodils
Troy Lynch – Magic Box (also won access to Gardyne Theatre recording studio)