DCU Dragons’ Den 2018 began yesterday (16th April) with the first batch of final year business students pitching their business ideas to the dragons. In this piece, MSc in Management students, Dónal Breathnach and Siobhán Greene share some highlights from day 1.
New Enterprise Development is a final year business module delivered by Dr Eric Clinton, which takes place over the course of two semesters. The module introduces students to both the theory and practice of entrepreneurship within the context of new enterprise development in Ireland. The practical side of the module gives students an insight into the process involved in setting up a business, while at the same time providing students with requisite entrepreneurial skills to pursue such a venture. At the end of semester two, students are required to pitch their business idea to ‘the dragons’, who are either executives of renowned firms or entrepreneurs who have successfully set up their own business. Incidentally, the dragons selected for this initiative are all DCU alumni. During this pitch, students are required to speak about their idea for 7 minutes and thereafter, answer questions posed by the dragons.
The variation of ideas students had come up with, from sports performance to farm safety, were highly impressive. The pitch ideas themselves were very interesting, innovative and creative. Indeed, while all ideas presented were well thought out, there were a few specific ideas which stood out over the course of the day.
One idea we found particularly interesting was the pitch idea called ‘UVClean’, which aims to provide a unique high-quality door handle specifically designed to effectively eliminate superbugs. The group spoke of how they thoroughly enjoyed the New Enterprise Development module and felt it improved both their presentation and interview skills, giving them more confidence with public speaking.
Another idea which stood out to us was the idea of a DJ App called the ‘Wyre’. The group said they got most of their inspiration from ‘AIRBNB’ and wanted to create something similar but with its own uniqueness. This pitch idea aims to provide consumers with a platform to find their desired DJs. This group like other groups we spoke to throughout the say agreed that while they found the module very challenging, they really enjoyed the practical side of it and felt it had helped them acquire entrepreneurial skills which are required to set up a venture.
All in all, our involvement in the first day of DCU Dragons’ Den 2018 was a thoroughly enjoyable one. Our role in facilitating the event and providing updates on social media heightened our involvement in the initiative, and certainly added to the entire experience. We met some fantastic people throughout the day, from the dragons who have carved out highly successful careers in industry, to the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Without a doubt, day 1 of dragons’ den 2018 further emphasises the mantra that DCU is indeed alive with ambition.
– Dónal Breathnach and Siobhán Greene (MSBM)