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Barking and Dagenham College go head to head in Dragon’s Den contest

17:30 17 November 2016

Students from Barking and Dagenham College competed in a Dragon's Den contest. Picture: Ken Mears.

Students from Barking and Dagenham College competed in a Dragon's Den contest. Picture: Ken Mears.

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Innovations came thick and fast as budding entrepreneurs wowed judges with their inventions.

A panel including Barking and Dagenham College entrepreneur and Post reporter Phoebe Cooke judged the businesses. Picture: Megan Barrett.A panel including Barking and Dagenham College entrepreneur and Post reporter Phoebe Cooke judged the businesses. Picture: Megan Barrett.

Barking and Dagenham College transformed into a version of BBC2’s Dragons’ Den as students vied to win their own pop-up shop space.

Budding Alan Sugars were not far off the mark in name as smoothie experts competed with pick and mix purveyors and fruit-flavoured chocolatiers last night.

After honing their pitches in the innovation hub over the past three months, contestants from six businesses had just a few minutes to showcase their business plan before answering questions to a panel of entreprenurial leaders at the Rush Green Campus – along with a panellist from the Post.

Following her pitch, Smoothie Stop entrepreneur and business student Viktorija Orlova, 20, said: “I hope we can bring something new, something that’s not yet in this area. It’s something healthy we can bring to improve the lives of students.”

The smoothie operators would offer everything from mango tango to berry crush if they prove successful.

Other contenders included entrepreneurs from Deiade, a handmade jewellery business, and a duo from Candi sweetshop “because who doesn’t like sweets”?

Perhaps most entertaining were the slush puppie sellers, armed with the memorable slogan: “A slush a day to blow your mind away”.

The winners, who will be announced later today, have an opportunity to make their business work for the 12,000 students and 600 members of staff in the college from as soon as next month.

As if it couldn’t get Dragon’s Den enough, media students will be making their film into a documentary short.

Chief entrepreneurial leader and judge Adnan Mahmood enthused: “The standard was very, very high, they all worked incredibly hard in the pod to get to the standard they were at today.

“Some of them aren’t even business students, and they’ve shown huge determinaton and ambition to develop themselves.”

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