The fine PE hall at Finn Valley College was a hive of activity on Friday 5th February as dozens of excited 5th class students and entrepreneurs of tomorrow gathered to showcase their innovative ideas. The Finn Valley College Junior Dragon’s Den, in its second year under the expert guidance of school Business Studies teacher Ms Ashlean Mc Geehan, was once again a tremendous success. Friday’s finale was the culmination of a month long process that involved school visits to all participating schools by Ms Mc Geehan and a selection of her 4th year Business Studies students.
The teams began their morning by taking part in a series of Ice-breaker games with several spot prizes being distributed before getting back down to work. Each team was then given an expert 45 minute ‘Pitching Workshop’, delivered by representatives from the local BASE enterprise centre and Business Studies teachers from the school. The workshop served to steady any jangling nerves and polished up the pitches of each team before they were due to enter the ‘Dragon’s Den’!
And what a prestigious assembly of Dragons they were this year. Chief judge of the trio was RTE’s very own ‘Dragon’ Mr Peter Casey from the hit TV show. He was ably assisted by Mr Michael Margey, head of the School of Business in LYIT and Ms Donna Maskery, manager of the BASE Enterprise Centre in Stranorlar. However, even with such an experienced panel of judges, the task of selecting a top three was incredibly difficult, such was the quality of products on show.
As the Dragons left the hall to get down to the difficult job of totting up the scores and deliberating about choosing the winners, the participating teams got the chance to relax with some light entertainment and games organised by the school’s PE teacher Mr Mc Daid and the Sports and Recreation PLC students.
Upon the judges return, Mr Casey remarked on the exceptionally high standard of all the teams but that unfortunately there could only be three prize winners. He also enthralled the audience with his own story of how he had ‘lost everything, millions!’ on more than one occasion and to not give up after a disappointment.
Winners on the day were, once again, Scoil Bhride from Convoy with their fingerprint recognition dog collar called ‘Dog Buddy’, a fine achievement by the school after they won last years competition also. Runners up were Dooish National School with their ‘Blue Beans’ Coffee maker (and memorable jingle!) and third place went to St Mary’s in Castlefin with their arm band phone charger powered by kinetic energy.
Ms Mc Geehan, on behalf of Finn Valley College, would like to congratulate all the teams involved on their excellent work and to thank everyone who helped in any way to ensure this year’s Junior Dragon’s Den was such a success.