Departmental Dragons' Den

Posted on 2 May 2019

Undergraduates go head-to-head in Dragons’ Den style competition


A cash prize for the most compelling proposal has been awarded to Runforge by the course’s sponsors Netsells and Piksel.

Undergraduates from all year groups in the Department of Computer Science have been teaming up to develop tech related business ideas for the Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship module. The course opened with lectures and practicals covering a range of topics related to tech entrepreneurship, and progressed into a project phase where students formed business plans in small groups. On Wednesday 13 March initial ideas were pitched competitively to a team of Dragons comprising leaders of local tech businesses and senior University staff, including Professor Neil Audsley, our Head of Department.

 

 

 

Three qualifying pitches have been selected to be taken forwards:

  • Runforge: A social-running game
  • Sign: A visual service that auto-generates sign language from speech
  • Assemble: A digital product development toolkit.

Dan Yates, co-creator of Runforge, said "We really enjoyed pulling ideas together and creating a good business pitch for the Dragons' Den. The questions asked by the Dragons were tough, but we thought we answered them as best we could given the pressure we were under. It was a fantastic achievement for us to have been selected over the other great teams pitching at the event. Now, we intend to continue working on the business plan and our pitch to hopefully be able to represent York in the national competition!"

All of the successful teams will now strengthen their concepts before meeting again to pitch at the Engineers in Business Fellowship cross-Departmental competition on 17 April. This event will involve significant prize money and an impressive array of Dragons who determine which York Champions progress to the national Champion of Champions event held in London later in the year. Spectators will be welcomed in RCH/204 to check out the entrepreneurial talent that’s developing within the Department.