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Into the Dragons' Den at St Andrews

A Year 10 student writes about her experience representing STA and winning the award for Most Sustainable Business at the Dragons' Den competition hosted by St Andrews on 5th June.

The TISBETN Dragons’ Den is a competition between schools in Bangkok, where entrepreneurs watch student business pitches to decide whether to invest in the business to help them expand. There were 5 Dragons from different industries who were watching each pitch, and each pitch had to include the history of our companies and a lot of information about the product that we were trying to sell.

St Andrews hosted the final on 5th June this year in the theatre and were joined by businesses from 5 other schools. The year 9 students who are doing Business next year also joined the audience and got an opportunity to ask questions to the business leaders after the competition.

Before the Dragon’s Den final, all Year 10 business students fought it out to win a place. We had to present our products to the teachers so that they were able to choose the right group to go to the final. We pitched to the teachers with information about our business and what our product is.

Anna 01

The teachers chose my business to represent St Andrews in the final because they liked that our organic T-shirts with natural dyes are sustainable and that it could make a great point at the TISBETN Dragons’ den. The other reason they chose my business was because it was unique and it didn’t have a lot of competitors.

What I enjoyed the most by taking part in this TISBETN Dragons’ Den was the experience of actually talking to real life entrepreneurs and people that had actually gone through the situation of starting up the company or managing parts of the company. I also really enjoyed when we had to answer the questions that were asked, it was the most intense moment but also the most enjoyable moment because we got to answer and tell them about the business but also listen to their opinion on how the business could be better.

The challenges I overcame were presenting the presentation within the duration of 5 minutes, not to have it for too long and too short, the other thing was that I managed to answer all the questions that the Dragons asked.

In the end, the group that won overall was NIST with their product sustainable Honey, which was responsibly sourced from Northern Thailand. They won because their business has been active for 2 months and has a strong plan for the future. My business received a runner up award for most sustainable business.

My advice to the students taking part next year is that they should prepare very well and that they should make sure that their business plan and presentation is done before the final day at least 3-4 weeks before,  because time will be so important and it will go very fast without knowing. The other thing that I recommend the group that is taking part next year is that make sure that you have a great connection between your business partners because they will be so important, don’t let them down a week before the final day or the day before the final day because your other partner will then have to be responsible for everything.

Anna Y10

Anna with award