Entrepreneurs impress in Lisburn’s ‘Dragon’s Den’

Two former Wallace pupils carried off first prize in Lisburn City Council’s Fly or Die Competition, an off-screen version of the Dragon’s Den.

Monday, 3rd June 2013, 8:34 am
Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

They received £1,000 to aid the development of their business, Precious Packaging.

Facing extremely stiff competition from four other entrepreneurs, Matthew Nelson and George Sleator were triumphant in showcasing the potential of their business in a tough economic climate. Entering the ‘Dragon’s Den’ recently, each contestant faced a real life replica of the popular TV series, with three Dragons listening carefully to their business proposal, in front of an invited audience.

MC for the evening, Gerry Faloona, provided much needed encouragement to the contestants.

Hazel King, Lisburn City Council’s Economic Development Manager commented; “Now in its third year, the Fly or Die competition rewards and recognises Lisburn graduate entrepreneurs.

“We believe the event highlights the attractive proposition that self-employment can offer to graduates. Congratulations to Matthew and George who delivered a very compelling pitch.”

Pitching against George and Matthew for the coveted £1,000 prize was Aaron Browne of Clubgazer, promoting the use of cutting edge bio-metrics to inform local businesses’ marketing strategies; Christopher O’Reilly of House of Hannigan, a celebrated fashion label; Lynn and Connor Ross, presenting Hola Muchachos, offering Spanish classes for pre-schoolers and Gareth Landy of Bluemoon Productions, providing cinematic quality commercial videos.

Each of the five contestants were quizzed on the workings of their business and all three Dragons - Philip Bain, MD of Shredbank; Andrew Robinson, MD of Boomer Industries and Alderman Jim Dillon, of Lisburn City Council - were not afraid to ask pertinent questions relating to financial viability and growth potential.

Organised as part of Lisburn City Council’s Graduate Into Business Programme, the competition aims to highlight the enterprising efforts of local graduates.

The programme, which is part financed by the EU Sustainable Competitiveness Programme NI 2007 – 2013, is delivered by Lisburn Enterprise Organisation and to date over 80 graduate entrepreneurs have benefited from the specialist mentoring support it offers.

If you would like further information on the programme contact [email protected] or log on to www.lisburngraduateintobusiness.co.uk