Who will make it through the Dragon's Den?

Entrants to the University of Plymouth's Business Ideas Challenge will find out on Monday (April 27) whose idea has made it past the final Dragon's Den-style judging stage to be crowned the winner. As well as plenty of kudos, the overall winner will also receive 2,000 plus up to 2,000 worth of professional services to help develop their business proposal.

Competition organiser Barbara Lees said: "As in previous years we have received a very good range of exciting and interesting business ideas and the judges found it hard to get down to the last eight. All of the eight finalists have shown considerable enterprise and innovation to get this far and we have high hopes for all of them. The University has been working with all the entrants to help develop their ideas so that as many as possible can be taken forward and turned into viable businesses and we will continue to support the winners throughout the coming year."

The annual competition aims to find the most innovative and enterprising new business ideas and to give guidance and support to entrants so that they can turn their ideas into businesses. Ideas put forward by the finalists include: innovative children's books and healthcare products, an eco-design consultancy, a novel home insulation scheme and an aid for mariners.

Entries were received from staff and students from a wide sector of the community including: University of Plymouth staff and students, partner college students, CUC (Cornwall) staff and students, University of Plymouth alumni and Tamar Science Park tenants.

The awards dinner will be held at the Tamar Science Park and will include speeches from Nigel Halford, chief executive of the Tamar Science Park, and Oliver Blackwell, a University of Plymouth product design graduate. Oliver won the Daily Mail Concept for Living Award at the Ideal Home Exhibition for his WashDryIron drum-less washing machine - an award which was won by James Dyson with his vacuum cleaner in 1996.

Oliver and previous Business Ideas Challenge winner, Professor Steve Rowland, also featured on a DVD that was produced last year to showcase the range of enterprising activities undertaken at the University.

Sponsors and partners of the competition include: Air Southwest, Formation Zone, Francis Clark, Glanville Environmental, ICO3, LogoWork, Tamar Science Park. HSBC, Biovault, Ashfords, Business Link, CUC, N J Akers, Finance Southwest, Studiospaceone and Limejuice Marketing.

Ends


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