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Angelic performances impress the panel

20-03-2012

The Angels Lair panel, with Surrey Chamber’s chief executive, Louise Punter and the winning company, Our Health.

GUILDFORD’S version of  BBC2’s  Dragons’ Den came to the University of Surrey last week for the the most anticipated event of Enterprise week, the national initiative aimed at promoting entrepreneurial skills among young people.

Organised by the Surrey Chambers of Commerce, The Institute of Directors and the University of Surrey, The Angel’s Lair attracted an impressive turnout of 200 delegates to the University of Surrey School of Management Lecture Theatre to see three local business proposals critiques by an investment expert panel.

While real  investment funding may have not been on the table, the teams: Mind Studio, Our Health and Tendotzero, did have the combined wisdom of a panel of business experts who were on hand to ascertain  which one was the most tempting investment opportunity and share the benefit of their experience.

While the TV “dragons” may be renowned for their barbed put downs, the Angel’s Lair proved a more forgiving experience, with constructive criticism and direct advice from the chairman of Silverfox Venture Partners, Gerry Lemberg; managing partner of Clydesdale Bank PLC, Eric Vardy; corporate and commercial department of Penningtons Solicitors Sarah Scarlett; and the chief executive of GTS Ventures Ltd and business angel, Grahame Sewell.

The audience also had the opportunity to make its views known on who they felt gave the best presentation  by voting interactively with key pads.

Mind Studio saw the team from the Royal Grammar School, formed initially as part of the Surrey Young Enterprise programme, present their idea for a GCSE revision software business.

Aimed specifically at A and A* pupils from grammar and independent schools,  the idea is to provide a more uniform and structured approach to  the  revision  process with the production  of  a  number  of CDs covering different subjects.

While the standard of the presentation scored highly with the audience, Mind Studio’s  proposition was found to be the least investable opportunity because of the low turnover predictions.

Copyright issues concerning  the subject information provided in the software and a lack of clarity over what percentage of the course syllabus would be covered by the CDs was also mentioned.

It was a different story for Tendotzero, an early stage data software consultancy company, which is already trading.
The proposition impressed  the panel’s business angel as the most investable opportunity, with ambitious growth and turnover predictions and the potential to compete in a world market.

Our Health, a pre-start-up alternative health service company, aiming to offer one-stop health provision in deprived areas impressed both the panel and audience with a a polished presentation.

While a business model heavily reliant on PCT funding raised some concerns from the the panel, the realistic nature of   the  company’s  turnover and expansion predictions impressed as did the social need the service fulfilled.

Scoring well with the panel and audience, it was awarded the evenings overall winner and the receiver of a laptop computer and free business advisory services for one year to the value of £2,000 from Baker Tilly accountants in Guildford.