May 2, 2018, by Lindsay Brooke
PVC for Science turns dragon for a day – and Nottingham graduate gets Dragon approval
Professor Kevin Shakesheff found himself in the shoes of entrepreneur Peter Jones when he took his seat on a Dragons Den style panel in Nottingham last week. He joined four other ‘Dragons’ holding a purse of £3000 for each of the winners.
The event, organised by Nottinghamshire Community Foundation, attracted 15 entries and 8 were selected to pitch their business ideas.
Among the winners, University of Nottingham graduate Jordana Chin, owner of Nutri2Go. Jordana managed to impress the judges with the plans she has for her eco-friendly healthy food delivery service. She walked away with £3000 to help expand her business.
Jordana’s business, kick started at the University of Nottingham with help from the Hayden Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship recently got a helping hand from the University’s Food Innovation Centre at Sutton Bonington on packaging ideas. She completed an MSc in Clinical Nutrition at the University in 2015.
Another £2000 went to Aleksandra Czerwiakowska whose pitch for a freeze dryer to expand her personalised healthy breakfast service Cereal Master, won over the Dragons. Aleksandra, currently studying a Masters in Nutritional Sciences at University of Nottingham, received free technical support from the Food Innovation Centre to develop the product.
Professor Shakesheff said: “It was a pleasure to be involved in this event because it shows how many fantastic entrepreneurs we have in Nottingham. All the applicants had a passion to succeed and beyond the commercial aspects of their ideas, they also wanted to make a positive difference to the lives of people in Nottingham. The grant winners all have innovative project ideas that address the needs of people in our City.”
His fellow ‘Dragons’ were Nina Dauban, Chief Executive at Nottingham Community Foundation; Melanie Currie, Deputy Dean at Nottingham Business School; Beverley Parr, Owner of B & J Parr; Martin Collins, CEO BFS (UK)Ltd; and David Marlow, CEO of Nottingham Building Society.
Nina Dauban, Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire Community Foundation, said: “We have been regularly funding local charities for years. The den came out of a realisation that helping the local community meant helping not just charities but the businesses too. Supporting new start-ups is therefore important to us as a charity that reaches into the heart of the community. The winners get so much more than a grant as the panel always offers invaluable advice, gifts in kind and some even end up investing in the business.”
The event will be back next year. Nottinghamshire Community Foundation is a local registered charity delivering grant schemes on a not for profit basis and has given over £25 million away since beginning. If you are interested in being a dragon or angel at the next ‘den’ please contact Nina Dauban via email – firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to apply next year keep an eye on the Nottinghamshire Community Foundation website.