LJMU delivers its own Dragons' Den

31 May 2012

LJMU's School of Engineering, Technology and Maritime Operations working with the Centre for Entrepreneurship and the World of Work Careers Centre, have raised students' commercial awareness by bringing a product to the market.

The young product designers were supported by the entrepreneurs with business planning, marketing, and finance workshops as well as well as tailored business advice and suppor. The students presented their business plans and product concepts to a panel of employers, in a format similar to BBC’s Dragons' Den.

The products presented were diverse and included:

  • In-pulse: a water bottle designed to monitor current heart rate fitted with LEDs
  • Capture: a stylish charm that also features camera technology designed with removable covers, inset with gem stones
  • Cymclip: A quick and easy clip to support Cymbals on a drum kit

The programme was designed and filmed by staff and students from the Broadcast and Media Production programme. The set design added a realistic dimension to the Dragons' Den atmosphere. Each group had 10 minutes in the TV studio to highlight their business plan and product, while the four dragons sat on leather chairs with their clipboards, ready to ask questions. The aim of the initiative was to give the students an invaluable, genuine experience of what it's like to present in the world of work, injecting realism and professionalism. The 'dragons' were made up from local business entrepreneurs and business advisors including:

  • Jean Segal, Event Organiser for Merseyside Women of the Year Award and Owner of DontStartWithoutMe
  • James Dunningham, Account Manager at Kenyon Fraser, LJMU Alumnus and Alumni Board Member
  • Matt Wilson, Entrepreneur and Founder of Crosby Communications
  • Lee Murphy, Director of itsonlytechnology
  • Amanda Smith, LJMU Entrepreneurship Champion
  • Deborah Pownall, LJMU Brokerage Manager

Image of LJMU's Dragons' Den panelDominique Pons Webster, Product Design student and spokesperson said:

"It was great to see the positive reactions to our hard work from professionals outside the University. It was interesting to take a product that we have developed and actually try to sell the idea to people - it added a new and valuable dimension to our work. Everyone is really excited to see how the finished filming turns out."

One of 'Dragons' Lee Murphy, founder of ItsOnlyTechnology.co.uk, commented:

"I found the experience to be very enjoyable with some great ideas on display. It was clear a lot of work had gone into the presentations. The students were a credit to themselves and the University."

Image of students filming Dragons Den eventBroadcast and Media student Jamie Gibson added :

"LJMU Dragon's Den was a good experience for all involved. It gave the Business students a taste of the challenges of pitching products and it gave the Broadcast and Media students a good opportunity to practise their skills in a production for broadcast."

If you would like further information about enterprise training and engaging with employers, email the Brokerage team: brokerage@ljmu.ac.uk or the Centre for Entrepreneurship: startup@ljmu.ac.uk  

To discuss using the studio facilities contact the Broadcast and Media Production programme leader Colin Robinson C.Robinson1@ljmu.ac.uk

The video is now available to view at: http://www.youtube.com/user/MediaGroupLJMU?feature=mhee

Page last modified by Corporate Communications on 31 May 2012.
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