Pupils inspired by young 'Dragons'

Schools take part in entrepreneurial event

Pupils at event

Three North Lanarkshire pupils, whose entrepreneurial spirit has been recognised by British Airways, have been inspiring future entrepreneurs at the launch of our Dragon's Lair competition.

Since winning last year, Callum Sergeant, Colin Gass and Cameron Gunn from Dalziel High School in Motherwell have formed a company, C Cubed, and come up with a host of ideas to help the aerospace and security industries. One invention, a Cloud Data Storage System that will replace the traditional black boxes for aeroplanes, won the TeenTech Award at the People's Choice Awards.

After hearing about the boys' idea, British Airways donated a black box for the team to use for research and to develop their invention.

Their winning Dragon's Lair entry from 2017 was a magnetic door lock that opens using a mobile phone and includes an inbuilt security feature of a fingerprint or face scanner.

The boys attended the launch of Dragon's Lair 2018 and spoke to this year's 72 entrants, giving their advice on how to develop a business plan and a presentation for the competition final in November.

Dragon's Lair is an entrepreneurial event aimed at all S3 pupils in North Lanarkshire. It is now in its eighth year and is organised by the council, with support from Business Gateway Lanarkshire.

At the launch event in the Atrium Business Centre in Coatbridge, the pupils taking part in the competition received advice and information from Business Gateway Advisers to help develop their business plans. Pupils then have to submit their plans, which are scored and the top six are invited to the final to pitch their ideas to a panel of 'Dragons'.

Graeme Currie, Operations Manager of Business Gateway Lanarkshire, welcomed pupils and their teachers to the launch event, saying: "We are proud to have hosted Dragons Lair at the Atrium Business Centre since it began in 2010 and it's great to see the initiative not only grow year on year, but also to see the confidence of our young people increase as they present some fantastic business ideas and plans."

Pupils from 16 North Lanarkshire secondary schools attended the information day and also enjoyed a talk from Kieran Aitken, the founder and Managing Director of Orbit Education Enterprises, one of the UK's fastest growing social enterprises, with operations in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester. His organisation works with young people, providing support and advice to help them launch their own business.

"The team running the Dragon's Layer challenge are always a joy to work with," Kieran said. "The quality of the ideas and pitches from the young people is top class, and it's inspiring and uplifting to see so much enthusiasm and ambition in the room."

This year's Dragons are: Scott Webb from UK Steel Enterprises; Denise Canning of 121 HR Solutions; Joanne Telfer of Ten Live Group; and Danny Murphy from Gordon Ferguson CA.

2018 participating schools are: Airdrie Academy, Bellshill Academy, Cardinal Newman High, Coatbridge High, St Andrew's High, St Ambrose High, Cumbernauld Academy, Our Lady's High, St Maurice's High, Braidhurst High, Brannock High, Dalziel High, Taylor High, Calderhead High, Clyde Valley High and Coltness High.

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