Dragon's Den comes to Wendover

Jane Reilly  |  Published: Apr 4th 2017

Pupils at Wendover CE Junior School took part in a Dragon’s Den style event recently. They were allocated an amount of money and ‘bought’ items such as cardboard boxes, toilet roll holders, bubble wrap and sponge material etc, then set to work constructing a leisure complex, hotel or other business.

Warrant Officer Simon Curtis, from RAF Halton’s Communication Squadron, was invited to judge the event along with three others, Emma Guy, a local architect, Angela Glazier, School Governor and Tom Walsh, Chair of the Wendover Parish Council.           

There were six finalists and one wild card, chosen by the judges beforehand, who made a Dragon’s Den style pitch to the judges and answered questions about their project before judging began. Prior to the pitch they were given business cards made by the groups.

Warrant Officer Curtis said: “Some fantastic ideas and models, it was clear an enormous amount of work had gone into each individual pitch. Some clever concepts, and perhaps some entrepreneurs in the making.”

The groups were Message, which featured a landmark water park with 5 Star hotel, "The Best Theme Park", whose investors would see a 20% return on their investment.  Dream Designers, who offered a Movie Mansion near the sea. Alien Arcade, a structure in Los Angeles with Disney themed attractions. TIED, a mosaic styled temple for a relaxation holiday on the coast of Lanzarote.  De Gateau, a multi-million entertainment building, and finally the wild card, Ben Jones group who offered the Sea, Sand and Sun Company, a leisure centre complex with restaurants.

The children took a 10 minute break whilst the judges deliberated and after much discussion but agreement, in third place came TIED, second place went to Message and first place for their design skills and sales techniques, went to the wild card, Sun, Sea and Sand Company.

Teacher, Rachel Stanley said: “I would just like to thank the panel of judges for coming to our Dragon’s Den competition. The children really gained a lot from the experience and were engaged in the learning from start to finish. The project gave the children a context for their learning, which I think they really benefited from. Having external judges really motivated them to try really hard with their writing. The experience also gave the children chance to work on their collaborative skills.”

Mr Daryl Slade, a teacher, said: “The models and pitches were very good this year. They worked as a team using voice projection to catch potential investors attention. We actually showed the children the Dragon’s Den programme to practice their pitch.”

One of the design submissions
One of the design submissions
Funky Food Market - a design idea
Funky Food Market - a design idea
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