Apprentices venture into the Dragon’s Den

The Startup St Andrews team get ready for their weekend for budding entrepreneurs.
The Startup St Andrews team get ready for their weekend for budding entrepreneurs.

‘The Apprentice’ meets ‘Dragons’ Den’ in St Andrews next weekend at a special business start up weekend.

Startup St Andrews will see 70 potential business people coming together to have a go at starting up a business in a weekend.

A set of experienced mentors will be on hand to guide the participants, offer advice and ask challenging questions.

Working in teams, participants will finally pitch their idea - in just five minutes - to a panel of experts and a winning team will be chosen by these leading business people. Prizes for the best ideas include further mentoring, financial advice and potentially a route to take their company to an accelerator scheme.

On the judging panel are Russell Dalgleish, chairman of WeAreTheFuture a global youth entrepreneurship movement that hosts international conference to bring together young business leaders; Peter Grant, the owner of Middlebank Consultancy Ltd, which specialises in Project Management, Consulting and Training. and local businessman Sandy Milne of Fife bakery firm Fisher and Donaldson.

Huw Bell, chairman and founder of Startup St Andrews, explained: “There is so much potential in the Kingdom to create exciting new companies, combining the best of local and student talent.

“We have some fantastic food and drink companies here, along with World-beating tourist attractions and enterprises.”

He anticipated: “Startup St Andrews 2014 will be the first of many events like this, aimed to show people the opportunities for entrepreneurship here and hopefully spur the creation of vibrant new enterprises to put Fife on the map, create local jobs and keep student talent here.

“We are all really excited and urge people to sign up soon, as places will be limited to just 70. We will feed you, mentor you and give you a great party!”

There is a £15 fee for the two-day event, which will take place in the University of St Andrews’s Gateway Galleries between November 14 and 16. It is being organised by volunteers from the St Andrews University under the leadership of Huw Bell.

More information is available at www.startupstandrews.org and Startup St Andrews is on Facebook and Twitter. Tickets are also available through Eventbrite.