Dragons' Den - 12 May 2011
On Thursday 12 May 2011, four Birmingham City Council teams braved the ‘dragons’ to bid for money to get their ideas up and running. The event was held at Austin Court, Brindley Place; the ‘dragons’ were Alex Whittard, BEST Workshop Lead; Tommy Wallace, Director of Fleet and Waste; Selina Medford, Corporate Recognition Officer and Mike Gregson, Workforce Intelligence Planning Team, Corporate Resources.
First team into the den was the Education Welfare Service Team from Children Young People and Families. They were looking for funding to pilot a scheme that raises the importance of attendance to nursery and school for children. The scheme is aimed at parents and is based on the success of the Cool Cats clubs run by schools.
The pilot involves putting together a pack that includes information in the form of books and a DVD, a beanie toy, toothpaste and a toothbrush and many other items. All of the items are used in different ways to get the message across to parents and encourage children.
The dragons were very impressed with the presentation; the team had done a lot of work to support the idea; praising them for their partnership working. The team were successful in their bid, gaining £1000 to pilot their idea.
Well done team.
The second team in to brave the ‘dragons’ were from Hockley Day Centre from the Adults and Communities Directorate. The team were looking for funding to help set up a small conference centre called the Hockley Xchange. This idea utilises their large meeting room at the centre, creates a new form of income and gives their service users new skills to learn.
The conference centre would be offered at a reasonable charge that includes free parking and some refreshments in the price, with other refreshments being available at a competitive price.
The dragons were again impressed with the presentation and really enjoyed their cakes that had being given to them as part of the presentation. Their only tiny concern was that the team might be underselling themselves and not maximising their potential income. With this in mind, the dragons agreed to fund the project as long as the team agreed to put together a small business plan for their proposed new income.
The third team into the den are from Spring Hill Library, Housing and Constituencies Directorate. They were asking the dragons for £1000 to fund two events. The first event would be a grand re-opening of the library. This would encourage the community to return to the library and promote what services are on offer. They would work in partnership with local businesses including Tesco. The second event would be a cultural day and would be held later in the year to educate and promote different cultures. This event would coincide with Black History Month.
The dragons have asked the team to focus on one event at a time. They enjoyed seeing the huge amount of enthusiasm the team has for these projects. The dragons have agreed to fund the first event as long as the team can provide further details. Once that event is completed the dragons have invited the team back to the next den to tell them how the first event went and what is needed for the second event.
Well done team.
Final pitch of the afternoon was done by Ron Lavington from the parks section of Environment and Culture Directorate. Ron wanted funding to build a shed and greenhouse to accompany the new children’s allotment and wild meadow at Handsworth Park, which will be used to educate and encourage children to grow plants and herbs.
The team not only look after the 67 acres of Handsworth Park but are also keen to take on projects. They have recently agreed to design and build a sensory garden for a private children’s centre. The funding of this project came from donations from the public, with the team offering their time.
The dragons were impressed with Ron’s enthusiasm for the projects and were pleased to support Ron and the team by offering the £1000 for the shed and greenhouse.
Well done Ron.
Do you have an idea worthy of £1000? If so, why not apply for the next Dragons’ Den.
The next BEST Dragons Den will take place on Wednesday 28 September 2011. The closing date for application forms is Friday 26 August 2011.