6th March 2006




Three former contestants on the BBC’s ‘Dragon’s Den’ programme will visit the University of Lincoln this week to launch a new project for entrepreneurs.


Perfect Pitch is a contest in which university students will pitch their business ideas to real-life investors.


To promote a more entrepreneurial culture across the county the Lincoln Business School has teamed up with companies in Lincolnshire who are prepared to put real up money to invest in the best new business idea.


On Thursday the project will be launched at the university by Charles Ejogo, Gayle Blanchflower and Dr Paul Thomas, all of whom took part in the BBC television show.


They will be speaking to university students who are being asked to pitch their own business ideas to a panel of investors later in the spring.


Lindum Group and Nicholsons Chartered Accountants have already signed up for the project, which is being sponsored by Sparkhouse Studios, and the organisers are looking for more local businesses to come forward.


“The aim of the project is to identify viable business ideas and capable individuals with the potential to turn the ideas into a reality – individuals who need equity finance to get their business ideas off the ground,” said Lyn Wakefield of Sunfish UK (Ltd) who is facilitating the project.


“The overarching vision for the project is to promote a more entrepreneurial culture across Lincolnshire.”


The three former ‘Dragon’s Den’ contestants will be at the university’s Cargill lecture theatre from 11am until 1pm on Thursday 9th March to tell students about their experiences of pitching for equity funding.


After a rigorous selection process no more than five students will pitch their business ideas to the panel of potential investors at the end of April.


The university is seeking successful, high-profile Lincolnshire businesses who are  approachable, able to give direct advice and mentoring and willing to bring £10k to the table with a view to buying an equity stake in a business that takes their interest.


For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

01522 886042                         jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk