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Wanted: the next Stelios

A panel of business experts will preside over an entrepreneurial competition at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) on Thursday 1 December as a number of LSE students pitch their innovative ideas to the panel and audience in the hope of becoming 'The People's Champion'.

The event, co-hosted by the LSE Careers Service and LSESU Entrepreneurs Society, has been organised to celebrate innovation and enterprise and is the first LSE showcase of entrepreneurial talent. The aim is to help young entrepreneurs develop their business ideas and learn how to market these to a wider audience.

Five teams will give a ten minute pitch on their idea with the aim of securing investment finance from the panel of business experts. The audience will then vote for their favourite idea. The winning team will be awarded £1,500 from Booz Allen Hamilton.

On the panel are:

  • Doug Richard, original judge from the BBC's Dragons' Den series and founder of LibraryHouse
  • Varya Davidson, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Wol Kolade, managing partner of private equity group ISIS
  • Tim Weber, business editor, BBC Online
  • Chris West, co-author of The Beermat Entrepreneur

The five finalists giving presentations are:

  • Marketplace - a chain of food retail centres across London serving a wide variety of cuisine at an affordable price. Modelled on the food courts of Singapore, Marketplace aims to introduce a new eating culture to the UK. Team led by Gerald Wong.
  • Nutrax - is the first company allowing consumers to track what they eat using a camera phone. Nutrax offers subscribers a dietician who will use food photos and diet histories to coach users on making better food choices. There is also a do-it-yourself solution featuring camera phone enabled diet tracking. Team led by Tom Batten.
  • Dormasphere - imports colourful, socially conscious fabrics and furnishings from Bangladesh and markets them to students via the internet and stalls on campus. The company seeks to address bland, dreary student accommodation and the underemployment of skilled artists in Bangladesh. Team led by Nick Smith.
  • K! Entertainment - offers hours of entertainment with karaoke singing and food at affordable prices. Open from noon till late they are located in Soho. Team led by Jingxiang Lin.
  • Rice Bun Five - is introducing the Chinese rise bun to the health conscious. Although there is growing interest in healthier and fresher food, there are currently no existing food chains with a clear market image of healthy Chinese fast food. The company hope to become the new main theme in the fast food industry. Team led by Perry Chan.

Dragons' Den is on Thursday 1 December at 6pm in the Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE, Aldwych, London WC2A. The event is free and open to all with no ticket required.

Dragons' Den is used by kind permission of Sony Pictures Television International. The series is currently on air on BBC TV.


For more information, please email Michelle Lam, LSESU Entrepreneurs Society, at m.lam1@lse.ac.uk|

25 November 2005