Starting off the New Year with a bang, Enterprise SU are ready and raring to go with this years Virtual Dragons’ Den competition. With applications closing in just over a week (22nd January don’t forget!!) we thought we would provide you with a snippet of what you should look forward to should you be shortlisted, and some frequently asked questions about the process of this amazing competition.
With the chance to win a prize pot of £15,000, a years’ worth of office space in “The Hatch” and an incredible £1,000 worth of free legal support from Tughans, we greatly encourage you to fill out an application form and get that ball rolling.
How does Dragons’ Den work virtually, you ask?
When applications are received, and the deadline closes our judges will shortlist the applicants remotely. Those successful will be announced between the 26-28th of January and move on to Round 1 of Virtual Dragons’ Den.
On February 3rd a ‘Pitching Skills’ virtual workshop will be held for the shortlisted applicants. This will help to enhance their boardroom pitch skills and enable them to be more confident in delivering their pitches. Shortlisted applicants will be asked to pre-record a 2-minute quick pitch over Zoom to be sent to Enterprise SU before the 8th of February.
On 10th of February, teams will be asked to attend a Zoom session where they will be asked 5 minutes worth of questions from our Round 1 Judging panel.
The judges will shortlist 10 applicants from here and we will move to Round 2 (The Final!).
Successful individuals or teams will then be asked to pitch live on 17th March to a virtual audience from The Accidental Theatre in staggered slots. Pitches will be followed by virtual questioning from our Dragons, judging will follow, and our Dragons’ Den 2021 winners will be crowned (virtually ofcourse!!)
This is an opportunity not to be missed and could not only help your business but increase your own personal skills in many different areas as well as create a new network of like-minded entrepreneurs.
Do I need to be in a team to enter QUB Dragons’ Den?
No, you can enter as an individual
Do I need to have a business up-and-running to enter?
No, Dragons’ Den participants are often at idea stage, but you must have sufficient plans in place for your business idea to be able to complete the application form.
Do I need to have a prototype developed?
While it may help the success of your application, you do not need to have a prototype developed to be able to enter this competition.
I have a team, but they’re not students at QUB. Can we still enter?
As a QUB student, you may enter on behalf of your team. You may declare your team members and their roles in your application and pitch material; however they will not be able to physically take part in any pitches should you progress to the next round of the competition.
Must the winnings be spent on developing our business idea?
Whilst, ideally, the prize money should be invested into your business, the money is simply transferred to the lead person of the winning team to be distributed and spent as you see fit.
Is this competition open to postgraduate students?
The QUB Dragon’s Den competition is open to any QUB student with a student number, regardless of whether you are undergraduate or postgraduate.
Is this competition only open to students from certain schools within QUB?
The competition is open to all students, regardless of which degree pathway they come from. We have had winning students studying subjects ranging from politics to engineering to medicine!
What can I do to prepare for the competition?
Our top tips are:
Make sure you that you know your business idea inside out. Have a look at some episodes of the BBC Dragon’s Den as they will help you to start thinking about some of the questions that you might get asked (and then practice answering those questions as if you have been asked them!)
If you get through to quick pitch stage, make sure your recordings are as high a quality as possible. Check out things like background and sound and ensure there are no distractions whilst you are recording!
Do your research. Sometimes we find that writing a business plan will help you to analyse every part of your business idea and will help you to have the answers ready for the dragons.
Attend mentoring meetings, training sessions and make sure you are punctual for your time slots – you would be amazed how this can make a difference to how judges perceive you!