Sheffield youngsters wow judges in Dragons Den-style business finals

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A group of budding entrepreneurs have done their university proud by reaching the final stages and securing investment in two major business competitions.

University of Sheffield graduate Lauren Nicholson secured a coveted £2500 investment in a competitive Dragons’ Den style pitching competition.

The event was part of an investment readiness programme, supported by the West Yorkshire division of the Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

The scheme was open to students and graduates from universities from across the region and culminated with the final four young entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas in front of a panel of top business advisors.

Lauren wowed the judges and secured investment in her business Remember the Date, an online greetings card company.

She was joined by two other university graduates in the final stage, Jerome Jacob owner of fruit tea maker PHROOTI, and Natalia Welch, founder of Pura Panela, an organic juice seller.

Lauren also pitched her business to judges in the grand final of the University of Sheffield’s Evolve Competition last month in a bid to win up to £5000.

Other finalists included Moira Adiotomre who pitched Student Connections – a tutoring network for medical students - and Emilie Broomfield, who gave a presentation on Upseam-Upcycling, an eco-friendly fashion business.

They were among ten finalists selected in a public vote. The winners will be announced at an awards dinner on September 3.