All images courtesy of Claudia Weaver
The purpose of our Dragons’ Den is to give you an opportunity to evaluate if your business idea is something that is wanted by your audience, is capable of making a profit and possible to accomplish in the time given.
You will present to your classmates as well as a panel of experienced professionals acting as judges. All teams must be present for all presentations.
To prepare for the Dragons’ Den, you will complete the Bright Ideas competition entry form as your feasibility study and submit for competition AND on Canvas by 5PM on 30 November. Over the years, teams in this module won £1000s in prize money with this assignment, so it may be a source of funding for your business if successful.
The feasibility study will not be marked as it is a formative assessment, but you will get real feedback from real experts, so do your best!
Here is what you need to know to prep for the Dragons’ Den:
You will have 5 minutes (and not a second more) to present your idea. You can NOT use slides of any sort. We like prototypes, posters and props – you can bring anything you want as long as you bring on your back!
You will be “marked” on each category on the Bright Ideas form:
1) Elevator Pitch
Did you clearly explain what you are selling, in a compelling and direct way at the start?
2) The need or problem you are addressing, & the target group
Have you provided key information about the problem or need you have identified, and the market or group of people who experience the problem? Who will buy/use your product or service?
3) The product/ service
Did you provide an outline of the product/service or project and how it meets the identified needs of your market segment? How does it work? What are its key features and how does it benefit the target market?
(storytelling/product demos are useful here!)
4) Alternatives & Competitors
Did you demonstrate an understanding of who your competitors are? Did you then explain how your product or service is different from what is already available in the market? Did you also explain why customers should buy from you, rather than your competitors?
5) Market entry
Did you explain how you will attract your FIRST customers? How will your product/service be made available or distributed to your target market/audience? What longer-term plans do you have? How could it expand or grow?
6) Overall Presentation
Did you, as a team, demonstrate excellent presentation skills needed by entrepreneurs? Will the judges remember your presentation?
Here is the feedback sheet that our judges will be using: Dragons’ Den Feedback Sheet Stage 1
Know and understand what your business is and what it does really well. Judges are people, too – don’t bore them, engage them.
Make use of the Bright Ideas Guidelines and think about your financials – judges are bound to ask questions about costs and where you are getting the money from. Be prepared for those questions.
Practice, practice, and practice your presentation as a team. Each team member needs to say something to contribute to the presentation. You need to look and sound coordinated as a team. Show that you are all playing your roles on the team. Also, decide how you are going to answer judges’ questions. What questions do you think they will ask you? Practice.
Avoid business management jargon. Don’t lecture the judges on theory. It is annoying and you will trap yourself. Judges know what it all means far better than you do. You don’t want to find yourself answering questions that you don’t know how to answer.
Bring your product, or your prototype if the product isn’t ready. Think when you are going to show it to the judges.
Dress to look the part. Dress to look like a team. For some teams, this will mean dressing formal, but this dress code may not be appropriate for all teams – it depends on the sort of a business you are. In any case, look like you are serious about your business (because you are, right?). You will also feel better and more confident if you look the part.
NEVER argue with judges. LISTEN. Even if you don’t agree with what they are saying to you as part of their feedback, you should never argue with them. If you have something smart and valid to reply – great, but please keep calm, and stay polite. Dragons will mark you down if they think you have issues with your attitude. They need to like you, not only your idea. You are selling yourself to them as much as you are selling your idea.
Have fun. SMILE.
Mobile phones off & away. No exceptions.
You will present to your peers as well as a panel of judges. All teams must be present for the entire Dragons’ Den session 2PM – 6PM because this is a learning session. No exceptions – thank you.
If you have any questions, please post them as comments below.
See you all Friday!
Jonas has written an interesting post on our study visit to Frieze Art Fair last week. What did you learn, and what do you think (and feel) about the fair?
“The spaces of public encounter, I suggest, are iconic with the spaces of discussion and debate that, from time to time, flourish in the interstices of financial and commercial institutions and personal budgetary concerns.[….]
Such is the Frieze Art Fair, where what Habermas (1989) calls the ‘culture debating public’ (of students, connoisseurs, artists, and critics) comes face to face with the culture-consuming society of Horkheimer and Adorno’s ( 1972) despised culture industry—the buyers and sellers of cultural products. Frieze, like all other fairs of its type (e.g., Basel, Miami Beach, Berlin, Cologne, Turin, Venice), cuts to the heart of the relations between art, economics, and aesthetics.”
Excerpts such as these still fresh in the back of my mind we (MACE) make our way to the Frieze Art Fair on Friday the 5.th of October. We have properly prepared by reading critical and less critical articles about Fairs…
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