Posted on 22/10/2012
Royal Holloway Entrepreneurs, a student society sponsored by the Careers Service, filled the Students' Union with entrepreneurial spirit and innovative ideas last Thursday when they hosted their annual Aroras' Den competition.
Based on the popular BBC TV series Dragons' Den, 10 students took to the stage to pitch their ideas to the Dragons in the hope of winning £1,000 to kickstart their business.
A distinguished judging panel was assembled for the event, led by Surinder Arora the Den's kind sponsor and founder of Arora Hotels, with John Donaldson, Executive Director at Arora Hotels, David Goldman, Head of Sales at Enternships, and Christian Jakenfelds, founder at StudentUpstarts.
Contestants had two minutes to pitch their ideas, followed by three minutes of questioning from the judges, in front of an audience of more than 100 students, staff, alumni and guests. Their business ventures ranged from new ice-cream desert, to a new online fashion store.
After a tense wait whilst the judges made their decision on who would win the £1,000, the judges were welcomed back on stage to speak about their own entrepreneurial experiences, and left the audience inspired by their stories. Surinder Arora spoke of his journey as a young entrepreneur and shared the valuable lessons he learnt along the way.
Then the time came to announce the winners. The top prize of £1,000 went to Smita Talati, for her idea 'TreatsBank', a money saving app that tracks your store points. The second prize of £250 went to team Alexandre Fourré, Dorian Trecco and Adrian Del Popolo; for their idea 'Royal Laundry Service' which sets to make the task of washing clothes easier for everyone at Royal Holloway! All 8 runners up received a £50 prize for getting on stage and pitching, which required a certain amount of bravery.
Liz Wilkinson, Head of the Careers Service, said “This was an inspiring event, which showcased the creativity and ambition of our students. The Careers Service is delighted with the results of their sponsorship of Royal Holloway Entrepreneurs and congratulates the President and the Committee on a very successful event”
This was just one of the events led by Royal Holloway Entrepreneurs throughout the year. They welcome entrepreneurs and start-ups as guest speakers every week, run business clinics and have a range of mentors, and much much more!
On November 24th Rockstar Youth mentoring group will come to Royal Holloway to deliver an exciting entrepreneurial incubator and detail how to access the government’s new start-up loans. At the end of the year they hope to start a new tradition, the Royal Holloway Entrepreneurs Awards Ball. For more information see www.royalhollowayentrepreneurs.com