Students pitch business ideas to the ‘Brentford Dragons’

Business-minded students from the University of West London pitched their ideas to a panel of local industry leaders at a Dragons’ Den style event on Tuesday 5 November 2013.

The competition, which was run in conjunction with Brentford Chamber of Commerce, saw students presenting a variety of original business ideas to the ‘Brentford Dragons’ in UWL’s award-winning, student-training restaurant, Pillars. After presenting an elevator pitch on their idea, each student was then quizzed by the judges who grilled them on their product or service and business acumen.

Four students participated in the event with ideas ranging from selling EU antiques in China to card replacement fingerprint technology. The winners of the event were MA Airline and Airport Management student Jagoda Markowiak, with her aviation skills training concept ‘Aviation Shake’, and MA Sound Engineering student Josh Fairhead with his titanium bridge ‘performance pins’ for guitars. Both winners were awarded membership to the Brentford Chamber of Commerce and will compete in the final in March 2014.

The event’s judges, who are all members of Brentford Chamber of Commerce, included Leslie Feore, House Manager and Administrator for Syon House; Guy Lambert, Treasurer and Director of Thamesbank Credit Union; Lee Doyle, Chief Executive Officer of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust and Giovanni Valentini, Assistant Manager of Redefine and Holiday Inn Hotels.

This was the second of four Dragons’ Den competitions that are taking place during the 2013-14 academic year, where the University will host another semi-final in February 2014 and the grand final in March 2014.

Jagoda Markowiak, MA Airline and Airport Management student and one of the winners from the evening, commented: ‘It has been a busy few months, but I am thrilled to have won. I will make sure to take on all of the excellent advice I received from the Brentford Dragons to make sure my idea is even stronger in the finals. I am now more confident working with business leaders and feel as if I have taken some giant steps towards achieving my dream job.’

David Mackrory, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at The Business School, added: ‘At the University of West London, we are proud of our reputation for high-quality education closely linked to employment, where our students are connected to industry and business throughout their studies. Tonight, UWL students have been able to use the skills and knowledge gained from their studies to impress some of the leading business representatives from west London. This is a fantastic achievement, well done to everyone involved.’ 

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