Bright Sparks Cash in on Their Idea; CITY COLLEGE: Jubilant Students Scoop Pounds 500 in a Dragon's Den Style Challenge

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), January 24, 2008 | Go to article overview

Bright Sparks Cash in on Their Idea; CITY COLLEGE: Jubilant Students Scoop Pounds 500 in a Dragon's Den Style Challenge


CITY College Coventry students were on cloud nine when they competed in a Dragon's Den type competition with prizes worth pounds 700 at the college's new Swanswell Centre last week.

The competition was the culmination of the Make Your Mark Challenge which took place in November 2007. The Make Your Mark Challenge was to make it pay in a globalocal way and it was the largest event of Business Enterprise Week.

The competition was split into two phases. The first phase in November whittled down the initial 10 teams to three. The three teams then had a couple of months to prepare a business plan. This plan was presented to a panel of experts in a head-to-head Dragon's Den style showdown where pounds 500 went to the winning team and pounds 100 went to each of the runners-up.

The event was sponsored by the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI), which was set up to help develop enterprise, entrepreneurship and employment in some of the city's most deprived communities.

The winning team of the tense showdown was the Con Team from the School of Construction. They pipped the S4 Team from the School of Humanities, Science, Business and Sport and the A Team from the School of Engineering and Transport Technologies to the jackpot

Seventeen-year-old Clayton Barnes, Rory Grealy, aged 17, Amith Hettige and Jess Burns, aged 16, were the brains behind the winning concept. Their idea of the Con Gen 1000 - Three in One Electrical Generator, which converts wind, solar and hydro energy into electricity won over the judges.

The judges, David Wolfson, director of Nord Anglia eLearning; Irene Cooke, director of business development at City College Coventry; Mark Carver, from Activ-STEP Limited, an ambassador and member of the Coventry Chamber of Commerce; and Lynne Graham, corporate development manager at City College Coventry, were all impressed by the quality of the finalists. …

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