The University of Bath Entrepreneurship Programme, led by Enterprise Bath, gives students the opportunity to pitch to ‘Dragons’ for the chance to win direct investment into their start-ups. Dragons’ Den 2 took place on Wednesday 13 March at the Vice-Chancellor’s residence, The Woodlands.

In the dynamic landscape of entrepreneurship, few platforms offer the adrenaline rush and opportunity for transformation quite like Dragons' Den competitions. For students, the transition from academia to the entrepreneurial world is both exhilarating and daunting. Enterprise Bath delivers workshops, guidance, competitions and events to aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as mentoring to equip them with the skills to drive innovation and bring their fresh ideas to fruition.

At Dragons’ Den the stakes are high and the pressure is palpable as these young entrepreneurs lay bare their dreams and aspirations before a panel of industry experts. Our student entrepreneurs impressed Dragons; Hubert Velge and Nick Wood, two alumni donors who generously donate funds to the university to facilitate further business support for entrepreneurial students.

Armed with fresh ideas, boundless enthusiasm, and a hunger for success, our students impressed with their innovative business ideas. These included smart home technologies in social care settings to help address patient and carers needs; an app that addresses the dropout rate of girls and young women from participating in sports and exercise in education; and how an AI-enabled rugby game analysis platform can enhance player performance and optimise training. There was a strong representation from our postgraduates with two PhD students winning funding from the three awards made on the day.

Graduate Enterprise Manager, Siobain Hone said:

Getting to pitch to the Dragons for funding is one of the highlights of our Entrepreneurship Programme. They give such wise and practical advice and are so well connected that often their feedback is as valuable as the funding - if not more so. Whilst not everyone gets money - everyone gets feedback so a visit to the Den is never wasted.

Following the students' five-minute pitches and a networking lunch with fellow candidates and the Dragons, they reconvened in the Den to receive feedback and discover whether they had successfully secured an investment. We are pleased to announce that a total of £8,000 was awarded to three student businesses on the day, demonstrating the superb quality of pitches and business ideas from the University of Bath students this year.

For student entrepreneurs, these competitions represent not only a chance to secure funding but also a crucial stage were dreams shape tomorrow’s business world.

Katie Little, student entrepreneur and founder of Taigh Companion who successfully secured Dragons' Den funding, says:

Dragons Den 2 was amazing, this was my second time pitching for my company, Taigh Companion which looks to provide smart home technology applied to care environments to let people live independently for longer.

The experience of creating a full business plan for the first time with the support of Enterprise Bath was eye opening and really forced full consideration of my business in a more complete sense. Having been shortlisted I was delighted to have the opportunity to pitch to the Dragons again. They took the time to review and feed back across my business progress and plan, which has been phenomenally constructive, with some feedback already actioned and more in the pipeline.

I’m so grateful for the Enterprise team and the Dragons. They’ve shown remarkable patience and support, dedicating time to discuss my business and provide feedback for its progression and future directions.

The whole experience has been surreal, I truly submitted expecting not to even be shortlisted, I’m very humbled to have the opportunity to be part of this experience in any way. I would definitely recommend future businesses putting themselves forward, because through the process I’ve grown so much as an entrepreneur (not a term I would have described myself as 6 months ago) and Taigh Companion is taking shape as a business.

This experience and the skills I have developed have been invaluable. Thanks to the support from the Dragons Competitions, my business Taigh Companion can now thrive and take its next steps towards becoming the business I envisioned it to be.

The winners:

  • Katie Little – Taigh Companion
  • Zoe Jeffrey – VibeStride
  • Ori Marsh & Lachlan McGrigor – FrameSports

Find out more about Enterprise Bath and the Entrepreneurship Programme.