Pillars Restaurant at University West London once again provided us with a marvellous venue for our second Brentford Dragons' event, welcoming us with a glass or two of fizz before serving us a delicious three course meal provided by the award winning catering students.
Before dinner was served our very own professional Deborah Hall introduced us to the four fantastic dragons:
• Leslie Feore, House Manager and Administrator for Syon House;
• Guy Lambert, Treasurer and Director of Thamesbank Credit Union;
• Lee Doyle, Chief Executive Officer of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust;
• Giovanni Valentini, Assistant Manager of Redefine and Holiday Inn Hotels.
They all offered their individual expertise and questioned the business plans put forward and gave some very helpful suggestions and criticisms of the students' proposals.
Mubasher made the first pitch, advocating a combination of fingerprints and pulse reader to replace smart cards. The issues surrounding identity are complex for technical reasons, levels of confidence and cost. Mubasher would need a great deal of R&D investment before his project could take off.
Giovanni has started to export European antiques to China where there is a growing market. He would provide the means for European dealers to sell to Chinese businesses and combine this with educating the Chinese about European products. With an aim to turn over £2 million in his second year this is a potentially hugely profitable enterprise but it was felt that he was too dependent on other people's expertise.
Our third pitch was from Aviation Shake, led by a pilot and an Account Executive for a ground handling company at London City Airport. Two very enthusiastic people who understand how aviation recruitment works from the ground up (sic!) want to use their knowledge to help newcomers to the market maximise their employment chances.
Josh Fairhead provided a wonderfully relaxed final pitch. A guitarist himself, he wants to produce and sell titanium guitar bridges in the UK and be the first to do so. These have taken off in the USA and are a part of any guitarist's quest for the perfect tone. Josh was keen to start slow and see how sales went before developing any grand plan.
The judges deliberated longer than usual, unable to choose between the varied ideas of recruitment and guitar parts. Finally they decided to name both Aviation Shakes and Josh Fairhead as joint winners.
It was an exciting evening for business potential shown by the students. In fact Josh has already been put in touch with a professional guitar maker.
Brentford Chamber would like to congratulate the winners and look forward to seeing them at future Chamber events to meet and learn from existing entrepreneurs.
This was a second in a series of successful Brentford Dragon events to help promote and develop business potential in our students and introducing them to real Brentford entrepreneurs.