Local Broadband News

Pupils step into the Dragons’ Den

28th November 2014
Pupils step into the Dragons’ Den

As part of the challenge the teenagers from Louth and Mablethorpe had to come up with an idea for a new product which they could make using the equipment at the hub.

They then pitched their idea to a panel of dragons during the hub’s official opening celebration at the Mablethorpe Business Centre on Friday 21st November. It was one of a number of events organised by the Lincolnshire Technology Hubs as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014.

Among the panel of dragons were Andy Harsley, who famously impressed the panel on the BBC’s Dragons' Den with his rapstrap technology; Trevor Olsson from TS3 Training; Dr Ross Hamilton, Director of Steamdesk; and artist and consultant Helen Parrott.

The students, aged between 14 and 16, presented a range of innovative new product ideas including a portable cup holder which could clip onto a child’s pushchair and a device which could be attached to keys or personal belongings which used mobile phone technology as a tracker.

Dan Parkes (16) from Louth, whose group came up with the idea for the tracking device, said he’d really enjoyed the experience.

“We came and had a look around the Mablethorpe Technology Hub a few weeks ago to give us some inspiration as to what we could make using the available equipment,” he explained.

“We decided to invent something which would help people solve a common everyday problem. People often lose their keys or forget where they put something so we thought this product would be really useful.

“Although there are similar products available, ours is different as it uses mobile phone technology to locate the missing item.

“Taking part in this project has made me realise that anyone can start a business as long as they have a good idea.”

Head of Business at Monks’ Dyke Tennyson College Jill Carr, added: “I’m very impressed with the ideas the pupils have come up with and how well they’ve worked together. The groups are made of students from our Louth and Mablethorpe campuses and this is the first time many of them have met. They’ve bonded really well and been able put the theory they’ve learned in the classroom into practice.

“We’re delighted that the children have had this opportunity and we look forward to continuing to work with the Mablethorpe Technology Hub in the future. It’s a fantastic resource and we’re lucky to have this hub and the Louth Technology Hub on our doorstep.”

The team which won the competition came up with the idea for an artists’ drawing board that can be used on a desk or on your knee.

The winning team - which consisted of Sophie Kelly (15), Thomas Jasper (14), Beth Cross (15) and Bethany Hamilton (15) - each received Argos vouchers worth £10 while everyone else received a £5 voucher.

Nicola Radford from Lincolnshire County Council’s onlincolnshire project, which set up the Mablethorpe Technology Hub along with four others in Louth, Horncastle, Lincoln and Boston, said: “All four teams were really well prepared and gave a digital presentation which included their research into the design and manufacture of the proposed product, potential markets and costs / profitability. They also explained how they would use the resources of Mablethorpe Technology Hub to help them create the product.

“I would like to congratulate the winning team and all the other students who did themselves and their school very proud.”