Inspiration for those hoping to face Dragons

Entrepreneur Kieran Aitken is pictured with last year's winning team of Callum Sergeant, Colin Gass and Cameron Gunn from Dalziel High
Entrepreneur Kieran Aitken is pictured with last year's winning team of Callum Sergeant, Colin Gass and Cameron Gunn from Dalziel High

Three Dalziel High pupils, whose entrepreneurial spirit has been recognised by British Airways, have been inspiring future entrepreneurs ahead of this year’s North Lanarkshire Council’s Dragon’s Lair competition.

Since winning last year Callum Sergeant, Colin Gass and Cameron Gunn have formed a company, C Cubed, and come up with a host of ideas to help the aerospace and security industries.

One invention, a Cloud Data Storage System that will replace the traditional black boxes for aeroplanes, won the TeenTech Award at the People’s Choice Awards.

After hearing about the boys’ idea, British Airways donated a black box for the team to use for research and to develop their invention.

Their winning Dragon’s Lair entry from 2017 was a magnetic door lock that opens using a mobile phone and includes an inbuilt security feature of a fingerprint or face scanner.

The boys attended the launch of Dragon’s Lair 2018 in the Atrium Business Centre, Coatbridge, and spoke to this year’s 72 entrants, giving advice on how to develop a business plan and a presentation for the competition final in November.

Dragon’s Lair is an entrepreneurial event aimed at all S3 pupils in North Lanarkshire. It is now in its eighth year and is organised by the council, with support from Business Gateway Lanarkshire.

Competitors from 16 schools – Airdrie Academy, Bellshill Academy, Cardinal Newman High, Coatbridge High, St Andrew’s High, St Ambrose High, Cumbernauld Academy, Our Lady’s High, St Maurice’s High, Braidhurst High, Brannock High, Dalziel High, Taylor High, Calderhead High, Clyde Valley High and Coltness High – received advice and information from Business Gateway advisers to help develop their business plans.

Graeme Currie, operations manager of Business Gateway Lanarkshire, said: “We are proud to have hosted Dragons Lair at the Atrium Business Centre since it began in 2010 and it’s great to see the initiative not only grow year on year, but also to see the confidence of our young people increase as they present some fantastic business ideas and plans.”

The pupils also enjoyed a talk from Kieran Aitken, founder and managing director of Orbit Education Enterprises, one of the UK’s fastest growing social enterprises which works with young people, providing support and advice to help them launch their own business.

He said: “The team running the Dragon’s Lair challenge are always a joy to work with, the quality of the ideas and pitches from the young people is top class, and it’s inspiring and uplifting to see so much enthusiasm and ambition in the room.”

The top six submissions will be invited to the final to pitch their ideas to a panel of ‘Dragons’, who this year are: Scott Webb from UK Steel Enterprises; Denise Canning of 121 HR Solutions; Joanne Telfer of Ten Live Group; and Danny Murphy from Gordon Ferguson CA.