Two words: True Grit

Our Mock Dragons’ Den took place yesterday. As many times before, it was inspiring to listen and watch people of tomorrow – you – fight to learn and then witness how they grow through that fight. I trust the experience and the feedback was useful for you to improve and polish up for the real event next Friday.

Congratulations to you all on still fighting to learn and grow, even though you are all very tired now. If you need us, we are all here… Keep fighting, keep growing, and believe in yourself – “Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.” 

Taking shameless inspiration from the Oscars, I also have two words to leave with you: TRUE GRIT.


MACE 17 Mock Dragons’ Den is here!

On 9 March, you will receive feedback on your presentations. This will help you in preparation for the Final Dragons’ Den. Attendance to the Mock and Final Dragons’ Den is compulsory.


  • Each team will have 6 minutes for their presentation + 10 minutes for questions and feedback from judges. You will be stopped if you go over 6 minutes.
  • Please bring your presentation on a USB stick and send a copy to me no later than Friday 9 March at 12:00 noon (for back-up purposes).
  • Remember to also submit your business report on Canvas before the deadline (see Canvas for details).

Here’s the plan for the day. You will attend all presentations.


14:30 : One Minute

14:55 : Global Song

15:20 : Yobbafic

15:45 : Quintet

16:10 : Hi-Phive

16:35 : Eatome

17:00 : Pukka Pooch


Engage with the documents discussed in class. These are available also in Canvas, in the Unit Page ‘Pitching & Dragons’ Den’.

Be positive and engaging. Do not argue with the judges.

Use slides to show only images. Do not exceed the allotted time. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

Prepare your strategy for dealing with Q&A. Do not talk over your team mates!

Tie up lose ends! Build on feedback from December and show to the judges that you have addressed and resolved problems.




Eden Walk Trade Fair!




08:45 SET-UP

10:00 – 17:00 TRADE

On Saturday 3 March, you will bring your product or service to the busiest shopping centre in Kingston! We expect a total of 17 start-up teams (among under-graduate and post-graduate students) to be participating in the trade fair.

IMG_1697 (2)

An earlier trade fair in Eden Walk

This trade fair will challenge you to get out of the ‘comfort zone’ of the Business School and to interact with a wider audience. It will be an occasion to test and strengthen your entrepreneurial drive and skills.

Please be prepared for adverse weather conditions. In order to prevent any health and safety hazards, wear comfortable and warm clothes – including gloves, scarves, and hats. Wear multiple layers of cloths in order to keep you warm.

You are expected to trade from 10 AM – 5 PM. You should organize shifts within your team in order to make sure that the trade stand is not left unattended, and that team members have a chance to take a rest after some time of trading.

The trade fair will enable you to better understand the market, to refine your sales strategy, and to gather feedback from customers. Hopefully you will sell many units and/or close many deals!


Draw on feedback from the first trade fair in order to improve your trade stands. As stated in class, you should use your table to create a newly-designed stand that consistently promotes your products or services.

Move away from a ‘table cloth mind-set’ to come up with an innovative display. For this purpose, make use of your research on how to exhibit products or services in your industry (formative assessment of 2 February).

The sizes of tables are as follows: 121 cm length x 79 cm width x 79 cm height. The tables will be wooden, trestle tables. These will be provided by an independent company and made available to you on site.

As visible in the site map, stands will be located in the Central Square and in Alderman Judge Mall (a covered walk way). Gazebos will be provided by Eden Walk to cover tables in the Central Square.


The trade fair will be visited by judges, who will assign prizes for the best trade stand, best sales team, best product, and best company overall. They will be walking around and talking with you to pick the winner.

Please bring £10 per team to make a contribution towards cash prizes. These will awarded in 4 categories:



[08.15-08.45: Tables are delivered by Yahire (an independent company). The caretakers lay out the tables in the Eden Walk Shopping Centre, see map]

08.45-10.00: Students arrive and take their tables on a first-come, first-serves basis. Each student company set up their stand using the provided tables.

10.00: Trade begins! We are expecting 17 companies, across undergraduate and postgraduate students. I will be visiting the stands and collecting GBP 10 from each student company. The total will be awarded to the winners of the trade fairs, and distributed equally across the four categories (best trade stand, best sales team, best product, and best company overall).

13.00: The judges arrive. They will be visiting the stands and talking to the student teams.

14.30: The judges return their judging sheets.

BY 17:00: End of trading and clean-up of the space. Please do not leave any rubbish on site! Please pay attention in handling the tables; and be sure that they are ready for collection – see instructions.

[17.00-18.00: Yahire collect the tables]


  • Engage with your customers and judges in a positive and professional manner. Show your interpersonal, interactive skills. Define a consistent strategy to approach your customers and generate interests and sales.
  • Have you got your product/service ready? If not how will you showcase your product/service (e.g., prototypes, drawings, and sketches)? If you are selling a product, have you thought about the packaging?
  • Which problem does your product/service solve? Be clear and consistent regarding the unique advantage of your product/service. Show an understanding of your competition and of your target market.
  • Are you clear on pricing? Are you prepared to take note of your sales? Will you have change to give to the customers? Will you give a receipt to the customers (to acknowledge their purchase)? This can be hand-written and/or delivered via email.
  • Is the layout of your stand effective and tidy? Does it communicate your product/service, and tell a consistent story? Avoid unnecessary and potentially confusing elements (e.g., party decorations).
  • Think about business cards, leaflets, and other tangible objects that will help the customers remember you in the future. Bring a notepad to take note of the contact details of customers who are interested in your product/service.
  • Tweet and post on social media about this event in order to attract customers to your stand! Take pictures that you will be posting on your blog posts.