Barton Peveril’s Students Enter the Dragon’s Den

Barton Peveril Sixth Form College hosted its second annual, Dragon’s Den style competition ‘What’s the Big Idea?’ on Friday 9th December 2022.

The competition gave the College’s entrepreneurial students the chance to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges, for a chance to win a monetary prize and a mentorship opportunity.

Students competing in ‘What’s the Big idea?’ were those who had already set-up their own business or who had an idea for their own business but needed a financial kick-start to help their idea come to life. The students had also been attending ‘Pitching Bootcamp’ to develop their pitching skills leading up to the competition.

The winners of the competition as follows: 

  • Teo Smith – Ed Teacher Toolkit, Digital Tools and Training for Educators
  • Victoria Duku (former Bitterne Park School student) – Vessence, Cosmetics for Women of Colour
  • Ellis Ferguson – Infinite Socials – Social Media Marketing Business 

The overall event resulted in Ellis Ferguson (formally from Noadswood School), out of three students, winning the competition.

When asked about her goals, Ferguson responded:

“I want to expand and onboard more clients and grow into offering more in person services. In the next 12 months, I am aiming to onboard at least 1 more 5 figure client and I am currently in talks with a company to onboard them.”

Former Wyvern College student and prize winner for ‘Best pitch performance’, Donniel Arituri speaks on his experience at the competition:

“Taking part in the competition felt like opening a door where I myself never even thought there was one. A piece in the puzzle I had to figure out, to realise “hey! I’m well able to speak ideas!” Essentially after the whole experience it got me to go back to the drawing board and refine this idea I had through the advice given.”

Hope Brown, formerly of Weston School also won a prize for ‘Best Pitch Performance’.

The panel consisted of Don Spalinger, Managing Director, PDT International Ltd and Governor of Barton Peveril, Laura Read, Centre Director, West Quay, Chris Reid, Innovation Consultant at Zurich Services and Lizzie Raffle, Business and Enterprise Specialist WSX Enterprise.

Dragons are named left to right

The Business Mentors who will now be supporting the winners are Jude Pilcher, Head of Client Success, David Group, Lizzie Raffles, WSX Enterprise, Enterprise Expert and Katie Hounsham, owner of Clink and Drinks Bars.

Speaking on the competition and its students, Lea Hampton, Employment and Skills Manager at One Horton Heath, Eastleigh Borough Council, said:

“Wow! So much energy & passion at Barton Peveril, so thrilled to be a Dragon hearing pitches from the finalists.  So many great ideas! I can’t wait to come back and hear more about the start up stories.  Thanks for inviting me, loved every minute!”

Shaun Tew Tew Brothers, speaks on the competition: 

“We are very proud to be sponsoring Barton Peverils entrepreneurial competition and are impressed that our local colleges are supporting the development of enterprise skills.”

Former Wildern School Student, Teo Smith speaks on his experience: 

“Participating was a wonderful experience. It really helped me understand what business people look for in pitches and the areas that I need to work on with my business in the future. I really enjoyed participating as it was great to meet new people who are forming new businesses (that have such unique ideas) and forming connections.”

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