Oxford Brookes Business School

Oxford Brookes Business School 'Dragon's Den'

Thursday, 06 May 2021

Oxford Brookes Business School 'Dragon's Den'

On Thursday 29 April, students on the BMGT6011 Entrepreneurial Business Management & BMGT7034 Planning New Business Ventures presented their ‘Dragons Den’ pitches to the Oxford Brookes Business School ‘Investors Panels’

BMGT6011 ‘EBM’, is a double credit honours module that runs over two semesters (BMGT7034 is its post-graduate equivalent). As a result students have gone through the process to prepare an initial business concept pitch individually, formed groups and selected a business concept to progress, conducted a market analysis which demanded ‘getting out of the building’ and talking to customers, and a fully costed Business Concept Evaluation (Plan), leading now to presentation of their final proposal.

There were 5 panels running simultaneously and the panels were made up of:

Adrienne Bloch (Bloch Solutions and one of our Entrepreneurial Fellows)

Charles King (The Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence for the Ice Qube Incubator)

Andrew Saunders-Davies (Local investor)

Francesca Howland (founder of Bimble.com)

Kulbir Khandola (European investor)

Simon Herring (founder of Pipers Crisps)

Rob Calcraft (founder of REN skincare)

Adrian Carne (founder of YEO Valley Foods)

Ben Newton (Yeo Valley Foods)

Kate Nightingale (Brookes Alumni)

Anna Gibson (founder of Micro-Scooters) 

Sophie Brooks (founder of Fit for Purpose Consulting)

Plus colleagues from across the university including:

Professor Tim Vorley

Dr. Leigh Doster

Grezegorz Kapuscinski (Hospitality)

Stephen Saunders (Marketing)

Dr. Jeremy Zweigelaar (Business & Management)

Clelia Bevillard (Enterprise Support)  

The role of the judges was to pose reasonably ‘tough’ questions and to respond to any requests for finance. Students were allowed the freedom to develop a business venture plan in a business area of their own choice. The teams identified early on the nature of investment required and therefore the nature of their audience (e.g. some were possibly self-funding and just looking for advice).

The marking criteria for the pitch were:

  • Establishing and pursuing presentation objectives
  • Presenting a coherent and persuasive argument
  • Performing effectively as a venture team / member of a team

The Student teams, which consisted of 5-6 students in each team, presented their venture ideas to the panel as prospective investors. They had 10 minutes to pitch after which the tutor opened the floor to questions for a further 15 minutes.

The virtual ‘Dragons’ Den event was organised by Ross Jordan who is the Module Leader for EBM, and took place on Zoom. Ross said; “For both staff and students, this was an extremely valuable opportunity to obtain some expert opinion on their venture proposals and the way that they are presented. As our first virtual investor event it was great to see the proficiency with which our students used Zoom and entertained and persuaded our guests of their investability.”

The teaching team on EBM/PNBV are;   Junean Cramp, John Mulcahy, Gary Frank, & Chris Harlow. Technical support was provided by Becky Horton & Richard Hall.