Melanie Filmer, business centre manager at Warlingham School, gives five tips on how to run a successful entrepreneur evening: 1. Ensure the application forms are written with the students' knowledge in mind, while covering what an investor would want to know.
2. Pitch it to Years 11-13 and get students to help with the publicity.
3. If possible, link it to your school's business and enterprise status, as this will help the event become part of the overall strategy, and not just a one-off.
4. Seek sponsorship from local businesses. We ran our evening as a proper corporate event, and we couldn't have afforded this without sponsorship.
5. Provide a support framework for the successful contestants before and after the event. We coached our winners beforehand on presenting to a large audience, and now advise them on working with the Dragons.
Risky business (above and left): presenting their money-making ideas to a panel of entrepreneurs was a challenging and immensely rewarding experience for Warlingham School students