The Dragons are waiting!
Come into the Dragons’ Den – where you could win a £15,000 prize pot, including £3,000 from the Engineers in Business Fund, a years office space in ‘The Hatch’ and £1,000 worth of free legal support from Tughans... all ready and waiting to be pried from the Dragons’ talons - everything you need to breathe fire into your new business...
Shortlisted applicants will:
- Be in with a chance to walk away with everything you need to launch your business
- Master the boardroom pitch through training and first-hand experience
- Ramp up your business skills through pitching, networking and mentoring on; Pitching Skills, Marketing, Finance and Legal Issues
- Meet ambitious and successful entrepreneurs
Applications for this competition are now closed. Keep an eye out for this competition re-opening in December 2021!
Wed 03 Feb - ‘Pitching Skills’ workshop to get you ready
Wed 10 Feb - Quick Pitch Round - Pre-record a 2 minute 'Quick Pitch' for our panel of judges and live (virtual) Q & A
10 shortlisted for Round 2…
- Round 2
17 March - Dragons Den Final pitches - Deliver a live (virtual) 10 minute pitch to our Dragons for your chance of winning a share of the £15k prizepot!
- The Dragons...Round 1
If shortlisted to the 'Quick Pitch Round', you will be asked to pre-record a 2 minute pitch for our Dragons to review, followed by a live Q & A session.
Your Dragons for the Quick Pitch round will be:
Jamie Foulkes (Relationship Director at Santander UK) As a Relationship Director at Santander, Jamie is responsible for everything related to banking which could range from a transactional query to borrowing millions of pounds. Over Jamie’s 15 year career he has looked after customers starting up to those who have traded for 50 years and have done so in England, Wales and N.I. Kirsty Dillon (Principal Recruiter at MCS Recruitment) Head of Technical & Engineering at MCS Group with success in consistently delivering on challenging recruitment assignments across the Technical & Engineering industry. MCS Group is a market leading Northern Ireland specialist recruitment & talent acquisition consultancy. Our dedicated niche markets are; IT & Digital, Technical & Engineering, Professional Services, Accounting & Finance, Banking, Legal and Executive Search. Andrew Kirke (Partner at Tughans) Andrew is a Partner in the Commercial team at Tughans, and works with clients across a full range of commercial contract matters, with a particular focus on energy and technology law. Andrew is qualified as a solicitor in NI, England and Wales and the RoI. Andrew joined Tughans in 2013, having completed his training contract with another leading Belfast firm. After qualifying Andrew worked offshore as a corporate finance lawyer for a time, before returning to Northern Ireland. Tughans is one of Northern Ireland's largest commercial law firms, and provides legal advice to businesses throughout the UK and Ireland. Ciaran Higgins (Director at QUB Students' Union) Ciaran is responsible for the Strategic leadership and management of Queen's Students' Union ensuring delivery of services and meeting the needs of Queen's students. Ciaran is a long-standing judge on QUB Dragons’ Den, and oversees each year the entrepreneurial talent that work with Enterprise SU. Gren Armstrong (Head of Entrepreurship at Invest NI) As head of Entrepreneurship at Invest NI, Gren is responsible for overseeing entrepreneurial activity in Northern Ireland and seeking out opportunities to support the startup ecosystem. Gren works with students regularly to refer them onto relevant Invest NI programmes and provide support by way of access to funding, introduction to relevant contacts, and growth support.
10 lucky participants will be shortlisted to the final round, where you will be asked to present a 10 minute pitch for a chance of winning £15,000. You will receive expert mentoring and guidance to help get you ready for the final round.
- The Dragons...Round 2
10 of the most promising participants at Quick Pitch stage will be shortlisted for the final. You will be asked to present a 10 minute pitch which will be streamed to the Round 2 Dragons.
Your Dragons for the final round will be:
Sara Mitchell (Specialist Recruitment Consultant at MCS) Working within the Accounting & Finance division at MCS Group, Sara leads MCS’ Accountancy Practice team and personally specialise in sourcing qualified accountants across general practice, audit (internal and external), corporate finance and forensics. Sara’s success in recruiting to date has been aligning high quality professionals with the right career move within this sector by uncovering and understanding my customers motivations, aspirations and individual nuances. John McKee (Managing Director at Linkubator) John McKee is Managing Director of Linkubator, a Management Consultancy based in Belfast, specialising in small and medium enterprises. John works with companies who have issues with strategic direction, sales management, succession planning and export selling. John McKee has been a Dragon on our panel for many years, so with his experience, he knows a winning business idea when he sees one! Eleanor McEvoy (Serial Entrepreneur and Dragon on RTE Dragons' Den) Eleanor McEvoy is Northern Ireland's Ambassador for Entrepreneurship. As an energy sector expert, she is passionate about promoting green energy, sustainability and saving the planet. She is also dedicated to reducing fuel poverty, cutting power bills and conserving our natural resources. A serial entrepreneur, Eleanor is currently a Board member for the Federation of Small Businesses NI and University of Ulster Emeritus Professor of Entrepreneurship. A two-time EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, Eleanor broke new ground by becoming the first private supplier of electricity in the Northern Ireland market and ROI with Budget Energy. Before that, she successfully built and sold two companies: Pembroke Distributors Ltd, a vending company which was sold in 2001, and Phonecard Warehouse Ltd, which achieved a £50m turnover before being sold in 2006. As a dragoness on two seasons of RTE’s Dragons Den, Eleanor made substantial investments in a number of young businesses. Lindsey McArthur (Relationship Manager at Santander) As University Relationship Manager, Lindsey manages the relationship between Santander and 7 Universities in Scotland and Northern Ireland, QUB being one of them. As part of Santander’s CSR programme, the Santander Universities team helps students, staff and communities prosper. They provide links to Business, Corporate and Retail banking, support student entrepreneurs and SMEs. Santander aims to create a positive impact on, provide support to, and promote access to education though all of their programmes. Andrew Kirke (Partner at Tughans) Andrew is a Partner in the Commercial team at Tughans, and works with clients across a full range of commercial contract matters, with a particular focus on energy and technology law. Andrew is qualified as a solicitor in NI, England and Wales and the RoI. Andrew joined Tughans in 2013, having completed his training contract with another leading Belfast firm. After qualifying Andrew worked offshore as a corporate finance lawyer for a time, before returning to Northern Ireland. Tughans is one of Northern Ireland's largest commercial law firms, and provides legal advice to businesses throughout the UK and Ireland. Amanda McCullough (Lean Start-Up Programme Manager at QUBIS)
As Lean Startup Programme Manager at QUBIS, Amanda oversees the development of QUBIS’ three flagship pre-accelerator programmes: Lean Launch Programme, iCure, and the EIT Food Seedbed programme. This means that Amanda works throughout the year on helping students and academics develop their business ideas and establish routes to market.