Enterprising pupils from secondary schools across North Lanarkshire entered the ‘Dragons Lair’ to pitch their business ideas to industry experts.
The annual event aims to introduce young people to the world of business and a possible career path they may not have considered.
It is open to all S3 pupils in North Lanarkshire secondary schools, with 15 schools taking part this year.
And it was Coltness High School’s ‘Beauty Buddy’ that emerged as the winning team. The trio of Millie McCormick, Isla Robertson and Madison Torrance each received a £100 Amazon voucher and a trophy for the school for their innovative business idea.
The makeup app with tutorials and recommendations for products and clothes, providing links to the best products for your skin type and shade.
The app can also scan your body type to provide suggestions and links to clothes that would suit your body shape, as well as updates on the latest fashion trends, and how to correctly remove makeup and look after your skin.
This year, 21 business plans were submitted, which were scored by Business Gateway Advisors. The top-scoring six entries were then invited to pitch their ideas to the panel of “dragons” at a special event at Summerlee Museum in Coatbridge.
“Congratulations to the team from Coltness High on their business idea which impressed the Dragons with its creativity, commercial appeal and practical application, said Councillor Alex McVey, Convener of Enterprise and Fair Work Committee at North Lanarkshire Council who attended the event.
“I was incredibly impressed by the young people who all presented their business ideas so professionally, as well as the ingenuity and effort they put into their business plans. It is proof that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in North Lanarkshire.
“I would also like to thank the local businesses Alexander Manufacturing, Dash Accounting Services and Livn Manufacturing, who gave up their time to support and sponsor Dragons Lair.”
The dragons are all local business owners who bring a great deal of business knowledge and experience.
Once all finalist teams have pitched their ideas, the dragons have the difficult task of selecting the winning plan, as the one they think most likely to succeed and they would consider investing in.
This year the standard of business plans and presentations was so high that the judges were unable to select just one runner up and for the first time, there were two teams in second place.
The joint runners-up were AquaVate from Dalziel High School and Grad Lets from Bellshill Academy.
The Daziel team entry featured a smart water bottle equipped with an innovative mobile app that not only keeps users hydrated but fosters a community of “Aquavaters”. It aims to revolutionise hydration habits, partnering with fitness equipment manufacturers, sports apparel brands and nutrition experts to provide a holistic approach to well-being.
Meanwhile, the Bellshill pupils’ entry focused on assisting and supporting students leaving home for the first time. The purpose is to house like-minded people together whilst living away from home to ensure they have the best living experience whilst living away from home and feel comfortable to continue their studies with the least disruption. It would also support students with mental health and be accessible via an app.
Councillor Angela Campbell, Convener of Education, Children and Families said: “The standard of business plans was incredibly high this year, so the teams have done extremely well to get to the final. I’d like to congratulate everyone who took part in this excellent initiative.”
The other finalists were:
Polar Wear – Lucas Audit, Baraa Abu Sammour and Allan Woodhead from Coatbridge High School A high-tech, eco-friendly jacket with many features including a 3-in-1 charger and built-in hand warmers. It receives power from the flexible solar panel on the back that even works in winter. The heat level can be controlled and it is waterproof to protect electrical areas and its wearer from the rain.
Wheels in Motion – Callum MacNab and Jay Tinley from Airdrie Academy An initiative that will enable users to cycle to school with each pedal helping to charge a battery pack that will have various uses. The goals are to make users healthier, while saving them money and reduce the use of buses and cars and so our carbon footprint.
Solarwheels – Alexis Glen, Zoe McLelland & Sophie Renicks from Coatbridge High School A solar and electrical powered car linked to a support app that alerts users to battery levels and notification 3 hours before the vehicle runs out of solar energy. Customers also have the option of a breakdown cover. The vision is to reduce the burning of fossil fuels and our carbon footprint.