Enterprising pupils enter the dragons den

By me&him

On Friday 25 November, Northwood College for Girls was a hive of activity as it hosted the final of the GDST ‘Invent’ event, a ‘dragon’s den’ style competition to pitch a new or improved product to a panel of experts.

Over 30 competitors aged between 10 and 13 from four schools – Norwich High School for Girls, Nottingham Girls’ High School, Portsmouth High School, and Northwood College itself – took part.

The panel – Jasmine Birtles, finance expert, founder of moneymagpie.com and author of 38 books; Narpreet Sidhu, GDST Procurement Manager and formerly a buyer for Disney Stores, Ralph Lauren and Tesco; and Will Wareing, Deputy Director of Education at the GDST – heard 90-second pitches for products as diverse as a clear plaster cast, bouncy trainers, and an app that controls a home alarm system.

The winning team, from Nottingham Girls’ High School

The winning team was ‘Bedtime Babies’ from Nottingham Girls’ High School, who presented a cot with an in-built sensor and voice recorder device, so that parents’ voices are played back when their baby starts to move and wake up.

The runners up were ‘Loo Lessons’ from Norwich High School for Girls, with toilet roll pre-printed with maths puzzles and concepts – ‘learning on the job’!

Judge Will Wareing commented:

“It was great to see how the girls entered into the spirit of the event. Their presentations were pitch-perfect and they answered all our questions with aplomb. I really hope to see some of these products available in the future.”

Thank you to Northwood College for Girls for hosting the event, and especially to Tara Smith and Zara Hubble for their hard work in making it such a success.