QUB Dragons’ Den Awards 2024 Recap

On Wednesday 17th April, 12 finalists entered the QUB Dragons’ Den for a chance at winning a share of a £20,000 prize pot.

The moment was a culmination of months of hard work by the 12 finalists who have spent many hours refining their pitches ready to meet the Dragons.

The initiative, ran by SU Enterprise, offers its participants the chance to walk away with everything they need to launch their own business. This includes a financial award, hot-desking space in ‘SU CoWork’ in the Students’ Union as well as specialist mentoring and support.  

The 12 finalists competing for the prize this year were:

  • HAVSense (Matthew Murnaghan, Kirsty Love, David Barry, Jack Sayers and Caleb Bowden)
  • CompakSafe (Niamh Tohill)
  • Aapta Gut Genius (Shubhamkumar Mahendrabhai Baviskarv)
  • Mude (Aidan McGeary)
  • Goodwin (Luice Latham and Lia Pellegrin)
  • INK (Hetty Harris)
  • ATS Solutions (Ryan O’Kane, Szymon Gorczynski, Sean Martin, Ronan McElroy and Christo Polachan)
  • VioFeel (David Boriceanu, Sean Webb, Bailey Mallon, Obada Tellawi, Scott McNeill)
  • Sentire Technology (Cormac Browne)
  • Allergy Armor Pro (Eimear O’Rourke)
  • Rapid Research (Toby Claxton and Joshua Young)
  • PrintCast (Joshua Vaughan)

The finalists pitched their ideas to a line up of business leaders including John McKee, Managing Director of Linkubator, Kirsty Dillon, Commercial Manager at MCS Group, Andrew Kirke, a Partner in the Commercial team at Tughans, Eoin McMullan, Partner at Hill Vellacott, and Anne Dornan, who supports the development of the Queen’s spin-out portfolio.

After a highly competitive finale, the winners were announced as follows:

1st Place: VioFeel

£10,000 was awarded to VioFeel for their pitch of ‘A.V.A’ (the Augmented Vestibular Assistant), which aims to provide relief of symptoms for people who suffer from Bilateral Vestibular Loss (BVL). The human body’s vestibular system is responsible for balance and orientation.

2nd Place: Allergy Armor Pro

Eimer O’Rourke impressed judges with her pitch for the Allergy Armor Pro service, which aims to revolutionise food allergy management in education. Allergy Armor Pro was awarded £6,000 of the prize pot.

3rd Place: HAVSense

HAVSense introduces a hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) tracking wristband, consisting of a silicone wristband equipped with real time monitoring technology. It measures exposure to vibration and alerts the user when they have reached their daily safe vibration limit. The team were awarded £4,000 for their pitch.

Goodwin, CompakSafe and ATS Solutions each received spot prizes of £1,000 for their pitches.

Speaking on their win, VioFeel co-founder David Boriceanu said: “We are still in awe that we have won, and we are excited to invest the entirety of the prize into VioFeel’s mission of helping people suffering from Vestibular disorders. QUB Dragons’ Den has been an excellent experience from start to finish, and to anyone with a business idea who is considering applying next year, I’d really encourage them to take the leap.”.

Since its inception, QUB Dragons’ Den has been launchpad for students at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey, many of whom have gone on to find great success with their business idea.

2023’s winner, Maebh Reynolds, is just one example of these success stories, with her ‘Airbnb for electric car chargers’ going on to receive a further £150k in funding and the title of Best Small Business in the 2023 All-Sustainability Awards.  

QUB Dragon’s Den will return in 2025. Find out how else SU Enterprise can support your business idea and entrepreneurial skills here: https://www.qubsu.org/EnterpriseSU/

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