Our Brave Girls Enter the Dragons’ Den!


Girls pitched their business ideas to a panel of five ‘Dragons’ at the school’s annual Dragons’ Den event at the end of last month.

Around 100 girls aged 7-14 years took part and eleven finalists were chosen to enter the contest on Thursday 23 April 2015.

Five Dragons took their places on the stage: Dan Gray, management consultant, brand strategist and sustainability advocate; Monty Meghjee, director of Magenta Solutions; Mike Hurst, director of recruitment firm HJA; Lamees Hoteit, primary school teacher with a marketing background and Karim Ali, partner in private equity investment firm. The tension was high as the girls, either individually or in pairs, took their turn on stage with just three to four minutes to make their impression by pitching their invention as persuasively as possible to the Dragons.

Meanwhile, the 150 strong audience watched on eagerly, taking part in their own challenge to read the Dragons’ minds and guess who would be chosen as winner and runner up in both the Junior and Senior sections of the competition.

Finally, after much deliberation, the winners were selected. In the Junior Competition Serena Patel from Year 6 scooped the first prize with her ingenuous design called ‘S-Temp’ to prevent you scalding your mouth on hot beverages.

The judges were unanimous in their decision that this simple idea could potentially be extremely viable. Runners up, Prachi Saraf and Kareena Patel from Year 6, also impressed the Dragons with their ‘Smart Bath’ which could help improve conditions of hygiene in less economically developed countries. In the Senior Competition, Afreen Fazil in Year 9 and her cousin Aisha Sheikh from Year 6 took first place with their innovative idea called ‘Luvia 1000’, a proposal for a high end shower head in the design of ceiling tiles to form a rain effect from the ceiling of your shower cubicle. The runner up in this category was the ‘The Groovy Grammar Pen’, designed by Sally Tremlett in Year 8 to correct spellings and grammar with the pen’s helpful display.

Joint organisers of the competition Tara Smith, Head of Cognitive Development in the Senior school, and Daniel Jeffrey, Head of Thinking Skills in the Junior school, commented afterwards: ‘Dragons’ Den showcases how effective our unique Thinking Skills programme really is. All the finalists were able to demonstrate their creativity and quick thinking, showing great initiative when answering some of the more challenging questions. We are always so impressed with their resilience and courage to stand with such confidence in front of so many people; congratulations to all the girls who took part.’

The Northwood College for Girls Dragons’ Den event takes place each year, giving pupils the chance to demonstrate the skills that they learn as part of the school’s innovative Thinking and Learning Skills programme. Character traits such as initiative, persistence, flexibility of mind and responsible risk taking are taught throughout the school. There was also a ‘Read the Dragons’ Minds’ competition for the audience. Lots of people guessed the right winners – 17 out of the 52 returned.

However, only two entries read the Dragons’ minds by also guessing the correct runners up:- R C Saraf (daughter Prachi Saraf in Year 6) H Jandu (daughter Maya Jandu in Year 9) Congratulations to them both!

Mrs T Smith

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