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Dragons lie in wait as students get down to serious business

A project to help ordinary people create adverts for big corporations and a scheme that would allow shoppers to donate their loyalty card earnings to charity are among the innovative ideas which students are hoping will impress business dragons in an event at LSE.

Pitch It! is a competition for teams of entrepreneurs competing to win a £1,000 prize for the best idea and business plan. The grand final takes place on Tuesday 2 March.

Six teams who have made the final will each have seven minutes to present their idea to a panel of business experts, including one regular from the BBC series Dragons’ Den. They will also have to take questions from the judges about their business plans before the event’s audience get a chance to vote for a winner.

The event is organized by LSE Careers in association with the Students’ Union society, LSE Entrepreneurs and designed to help the business-minded hone their skills with the help of experts.

Julie MeyerThe judging ‘dragons’ are Julie Meyer, who appears on the BBC show and is founder of Ariadne Capital, Meltwater Group founder Jorn Lyseggen, John Dixon – head of media at RBS Finance and Cliff Prior, chief executive of UnLtd.

Everyone is welcome to attend the final but tickets are limited. To book, visit My Careers Service at careers.lse.ac.uk

The finalists are divided into categories for general enterprise and social enterprise. In the first category the three finalists are: Pressure Trade, an innovative online and mobile gaming service aiming to improve peoples’ trading skills, Youny, an online service that lets students book extra tutorials at any time of day and BestGiraffe – the forum for selling user-generated adverts.

In the social enterprise group are: Adia Beading which provides stylish jewellery for UK women and work for women in Kenya, Tecnhojagriti – a group that offers environmental investment strategies to firms and Younity, which has devised a way for shoppers to easily pass on the points from their shop loyalty cards to a charity of their choice.

All the finalists have won through from 26 original entrants after four months of competition. While the winners in each category will get £1,000 the runners-up and third place team will receive £500 and £100 respectively.

The final is at 5.45pm on Tuesday (2 March) in the Old Theatre. For more details visit the Pitch it! 2010 web page.