Dragons’ Den coming to UCD

A joint initiative run by the UCD Director of Student Services & Facilities, Dominic O’Keeffe, and the UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) will see potential UCD student entrepreneurs and UCD student-run startups given the opportunity to be awarded funding from the UCD Innovation Fund to subsidise their business ventures.The project aims to address the lack of financial investment in UCD student entrepreneurs at present. Young entrepreneurs that are apart of small-scale startup projects, or even established businesses, are being encouraged to bring their ideas to the Dragons’ Den-style panel to make their case.By bankrolling potential businesses ventures, UCD aims to ensure that such startups and creative ideas don’t go unnoticed. This competition, which is open to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, has an overall sum of €15,000 to contribute towards aspiring students looking for investment.The Director of the Student Services & Facilities in UCD, Dominic O’Keefe expressed his satisfaction with the announcement of the new competition and feels it will benefit those students who require that financial push to get their idea off the ground or existing business plan to the next level. “We’re delighted to bring UCD Students their very own Dragons’ Den in association with the UCD Students’ Union.“This will offer students a unique opportunity to pitch their business idea, whether it’s a new idea, a startup, or already in business and willing to expand. This investment from the University is a commitment to student innovation and entrepreneurship.”Applications for the competition are now open and the panel for the competition will be announced within the coming weeks. Application forms are available online via www.ucd.ie/studentcentre/dragonsden, where you will also be able to find out further information about the competition. The deadline for applications is the  January 31st, 2014.The Dragons’ Den model for investing in small startups or established businesses originates from Japan, where it was initially a reality television programme that allowed entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to a panel of experts, with the experts getting the option to buy stakes in the company in return for their investment.The show’s format has been replicated worldwide and become a popular reality television mainstay on the BBC and other broadcasters in the Australia and the United States.Check the UCD Student Centre Facebook page for further information about the UCD Dragons’ Den competition or if you have any queries, email studentcentre@ucd.ie