Solihull students present business ideas at annual Dragon’s Den event


Business students at The Sixth Form College, Solihull took on a panel of dragons at an annual ‘Dragons’ Den’ style event, sponsored by Key Construction (Midlands).

Four groups of students presented their business plans to a panel of judges, which included Bernard Callinan (managing director of Key Construction), Jim Hart (a former student, now running his own architectural practice called West Hart Partnership), Janice Hamilton (vice principal of the college) and Peter Brown (procurement manager at the college).

They listened to the students deliver a 15-minute presentation of their business ideas, before firing questions at them to see how they handled cross examination.

The winning presentation was delivered by students Brittany Endley and James Ingram, who came up with a business plan for the Go Easy Diner and Café, an American-style diner. They received gold certificates and £200 and will also be presented with a trophy at the end-of-year college awards Evening.

Second were Oliver Long and Matthew Saunders. Their business idea was The Sports Dome, a multi-sports complex in Acocks Green. They received a £100 second place prize, along with silver certificates.

In joint third place were the businesses Rose Tinted and New Classic Originals, both of which were ideas for clothing businesses. Rose Tinted was the brainchild of Rosie Massey, Lauren Loveland and Elle Coton, who were pitching to create vintage clothing with a modern twist.
Meanwhile, New Classic Originals was the idea of Sandeep Kaur and Adam Cobb, who were planning on manufacturing their clothes using organic cotton. They shared a joint third prize of £100 and were awarded bronze certificates.

Mr Callinan said: “It was great to be back for a second year and to continue this exciting venture with the college. It’s wonderful to see what ideas the BTEC business students can come up with, and how they respond to our grilling. It was a pleasure to be a part of this and I am looking forward to presenting the trophy to our winners at the college awards evening in June.”

Tim Goss, curriculum leader for business, added: “Sincere thanks go to Bernard and Key Construction for sponsoring the event, as well as Jim Hart for giving up his time. This was a tough challenge for our students, who faced some very tough questions from the dragons, but they represented the college with real professionalism and enthusiasm. They looked the part in their business suits and they acted the part, with outstanding presentations and well thought out answers to questions.”