On Wednesday 23rd March, Enterprise SU held the Final of QUB Dragon’s Den in Ormeau Baths.
The competition, sponsored by MCS Group, QUBIS, Santander Universities, Tughans Solicitors, and the Engineers in Business Fund, came to an electrifying close this year with 12 competitors braving the den to pitch their business ideas to a panel of business experts.
Dragons’ Den is one of many initiatives organised by Enterprise SU, the department responsible for fostering student entrepreneurship within Queen’s University Belfast and helping students to develop their enterprise skills and start their own businesses. Throughout the competition, Enterprise SU provide business support workshops and specialist mentorship to ensure that the students are well prepared for their final pitches
After a day of incredibly impressive pitches and much deliberation, the judges decided to split the £20K funding pot between three student businesses. Final year Mechanical Engineering student Peter Gillan was awarded £10,000 for his business, ‘Atlas Smart Tech’ which aims to transform the fitness industry with a smart adjustable dumbbell. First year Finance student Rory McLaughlan was awarded £5,000 for his business, ‘Shirt in a Box’ – a mystery football shirt company which he set up in 2021. Computer Science student Aaron Martin was awarded £5,000 for his business ‘Develamo’, a collaboration and social hub for developers.
Judge Kirsty Dillon from MCS said “the programme is a fantastic experience for all involved. It gives emerging talent the opportunity to showcase their unique ideas and innovative solutions supported by the great guidance from the team at Queens University. I was blown away by the quality of the contestants and pitches from the emerging entrepreneurs of the future. I am so excited to see what the future holds for many of these ambitious and creative individuals.”
Overall winner Peter Gillan said “QUB Dragons’ Den has proven invaluable for our business. We entered the competition last year with just an idea so it was exciting to come back this year with a functioning prototype. The funding and mentoring will allow us to commercialise the SmartBell. Thanks to it, we can stay on track with our plan to launch this summer.”
Enterprise SU would like to thank each student that participated this year and congratulate them on their innovative and intelligent concepts. The team would also like to thank each of the programme’s generous sponsors, as well as the mentors for their continued support.