N.U Lions' Den
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Entrepreneurial students leave Lions' Den with £1000 award

Brave Newcastle University students have emerged from the Lions’ Den with £1000 in cash, mentorship and awards after impressing with their business potential.

Five winning teams from the university were announced as the first N.U Lions’ Den winners after impresing judges with their ability to generate profits with their business models.

Over 250 attendees visited teams of enterprising Newcastle University students to help choose the best businesses to go on and face five entrepreneurial Lions’ Den judges.

The event, held at the Students’ Union, and run in collaboration with Newcastle University Business School’s alumni association and marketing society, saw hundreds of attendees invest fake money into the most profitable student business.

Newcastle University Business School students accounted for one third of the 34 exhibiting student businesses at the event.

The businesses ranged from, vintage clothing companies and coffee cup advertising ventures, to organisations such as Creature Encounters that aimed to teach people about unusual animals, like snakes and pygmy hedgehogs, by bringing them to parties and events.

Teams from Sunderland University and Newcastle College also showcased their businesses; indicating that this event has the potential to expand in the region.

The 10 teams that caught the attention of the Lions’ Den judges, and secured enough ‘public funding’, were shortlisted and given the opportunity to present their business ideas to the Lions on stage in front of the audience.

The Lions’ Den panel consisted of North East Entrepreneur Forum member, Rob Earnshaw; serial entrepreneur and IT expert, Peter Nelson; Co-Founder of Ground Six, Martin Stanley; Founder of RSR Total Solutions, Phil Goodfellow; recent Brand Director for Sage Plc, Daniela Meyhoefer; and Managing Director at Bridge Club Ltd, Caroline Theobald.

Newcastle University Business School student, Richard Nichols, from one of the winning teams, Escalate,said:“To have the Lions choose Escalate as a winning team means a lot to the company as it has given us exposure to investors and other entrepreneurs from the North East.

“The future of Escalate and our product, the Dry-ver, has a solid business plan and this event has given us the confidence that our product could make a real impact in the market.”

The whole event was thought up by a group of marketing students from the Business School, with guidance from their academic supervisor, Dr Panos Piperopoulos.

Lauren Summers, event manager, said: “Nothing could have given me more pleasure, as the event manager for the 1st Annual N.U. Lions’ Den, than the happy faces, the energy, buzz and entrepreneurial atmosphere from the guests, business people and students who attended our event.

“After months of sleepless nights and intense preparation I finally saw the efforts of the whole team being realised.

“My dream and goal to show that, we the students, have a lot more to offer the region, has been achieved.”

Dr Piperopoulos added:“The Lions’ Den event was a celebration of students’ entrepreneurialism and to the absolute delight of the organising committee hundreds of attendees, students and business people from the North East, joined the trade fair where the student businesses were showcasing their ideas.

“The organising team were overwhelmed by the positive, enthusiastic and encouraging comments from the attendees and participating companies who are already looking forward to the next Lions’ Den event.

“We hope to meet and exceed their expectations and continue to bring students and academics closer to the business community of the North East.”

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