Dragons' Den for Investor Soc

27th June 2022
BY Mark Krutikov-Korsmik, Sixth Form pupil & President of Investor Society
Inspired by Makyth Ventures, budding entrepreneurs submitted proposals to the College's own Dragons from the realms of finance, enterprise and commercial management. There were two preliminary rounds before the final Pitching Night featuring the strongest three ideas.

The inaugural Investor Society’s Dragons’ Den Pitching Night took place on Thursday 23 June. The judge for the event was successful entrepreneur, Mr. Harry Clarke. He is best known for founding RingGo, the British parking payment app, which has over 18 million users.

The evening began with Yugaantar Jain and Marcus Banerjee, who pitched their idea Uni/ty. Uni/ty is an app that provides international students with the opportunity to network and contact each other and therefore feel more connected in their new university communities. International students find it much harder to make friends and often feel isolated at university. Uni/ty solves these problems by allowing students to join group chats, message others and learn about local life from people in similar positions.

Rafael Karapetyan then pitched Edosphere; a charity that enables refugees in post-conflict zones to gain access to high quality teaching from UK teachers. The project, which would be funded by schools, allows teachers to earn more as well as providing less fortunate children with the gift of education.

Finally, Dominic De Vuyst presented Astraea, an ion thruster of his own invention. With some advice from Dr. Aaron Knoll at Imperial College, London, Dominic has created designs and a prototype of his ion thruster. The invention contains a hybrid ionization chamber as well as new electrostatic lensing, which allows more energy to be generated by the thruster. The presentation ended with Dominic demonstrating his prototype live in action.

After our presentations, Mr. Clarke told us about the importance of entrepreneurship, innovation and his own entrepreneurial career, which started in a portacabin. He then gave feedback on all of the projects and announced his winner: Dominic, with his ion thruster. He presented Dominic with his prize: £500 financial support from the College to develop his concept further.

The evening was a great success, and I would particularly like to thank Mr. Thakrar, Mr. Leicester-Thackara, Mr. Rattray, Mr. Clarke, Mr. Eisenberg and Mr. Yuzhnyy from Makyth Ventures and Hasan for their help with the project.

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