John Colet students step triumphantly into Metro Bank’s entrepreneur “Dragons Den”
Five teams from year 9, at The John Colet School, Wendover, learning Business Studies, proudly and triumphantly pitched their ideas to a number of leading, local business professionals in Metro Bank’s “Dragon’s Den” style contest on Wednesday, 27 November 2018. The Dragons came from a wide portfolio of backgrounds and included a representative from a leading blue-chip organisation (which has a representation in Aylesbury), an established private sector enterprise, a charity and a public sector authority.
The Dragons present on this autumnal evening at Metro Bank’s Aylesbury store included: Iain Kirkpatrick, Managing Director for Metro Bank UK; Michael Donnachie, Michael Anthony Estate Agents Senior Partner; Caroline Bennett, Director of Fundraising at The Pace Centre; Nigel Ashton, Director for Commercial Strategy at AVDC.
The objective As part of their learning syllabus, each team had a “blank sheet” of paper to incept a new product or service. After a competition at the School prior, five teams were invited to present in front of a packed crowd of fellow students, proud parents and friends and many members of Buckingham-shire’s business community, the Dragon’s would pick one winner. Ultimately, the students who took part would learn a huge amount relating to be a successful entrepreneur; experience that will help shape their future career potentials, objectives and desires.
“It was a hotly contested evening which required the Dragons’ full concentration and business acumen to recognise the opportunities being presented.”
After lengthy deliberation – which reflects on the outstanding job the students did in presenting – the “Dragons” selected “Team CBE” for their car battery idea. The Dragons offered their fictional £100,000 investment to the winners. However, all teams were awarded credit for their ideas which were wide as they were varied. The ideas ranged from pencil cases to cakes to heated hoodies for colder days.
Heather Wood, Local Director for Metro Bank who hosted the evening, said: “What a fantastic evening. It was fantastic to see the effort and desire of the students as they sought to impress our “Dragons”. A fantastic night, thank you to all who took part. My appreciation and gratitude is also extended to all our Dragons who listened and gave the students the benefit of their many years’ experience of commerce and industry. All the Dragons commented on the high standard of each presentation; entrepreneurship in the UK is alive and well!”
Mike Donnachie, who was one of the Dragons, commented: “It was a fantastically enlightening evening. All the ideas were incredibly detailed and thought through. I was proud to have been asked and I hope together our experiences of life in our collective backgrounds is something that the students can learn from as they move into business. I was very impressed. A great event.”
Brainchild of the event, Head of Business Studies at the John Colet School, Lee Adams, said at the event’s conclusion: “This was a fantastic experience for our students and everyone who took part. I know how much time, effort and consideration was made by the students and they can be proud of their achievements. Thanks to Heather and the team at Metro Bank for hosting and help to organise, and to the “Dragons” who got involved and helped the event be the success it was. On behalf of the John Colet School, please accept our thanks.”
Iain Kirkpatrick, Managing Director for Metro Bank summed up the evening: “This was an out-standing event for local students gaining insight and expertise from professionals who have amassed many years’ experience. At Metro Bank, we offer initiatives like this up and down in our stores in the UK to excite, engage and encourage customers to understand what is possible. This was another superb showcase.”