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Dragon’s Den Winner – North Wexford

An amazing night was had on Thursday last and its taken me till Monday to get back on-line and tell everyone about it! Our Tradeshow/Dragons Den “style” night was a roaring success with a fantastic turnout and equally as good presentations from the final 5 contestants of the event.

The show started off with the Gorey chapter of BNI showing their businesses with a trade show layout with Stands and Samples etc. This gave the visitors coming to the competition a chance to catch up and talk with the organisers and see their products and services. These exact services would make up part of the prize for the winning entrant.

The layout of the Dragon’s Den “style” part of the evening was very similar to the actual real show on the TV, we have a top table made up of our very own “Dragon’s” which included:

  1. Fabian Doyle : Sovereign Security
  2. Deirdre O’Flynn: Spell Check Editorial
  3. John Timmons: Glasgorman Computers
  4. James Doyle: Doyle Foley Accountants
  5. Mary Gething: Eco Evolution

Our panel of experts headed the top table of the largest room in the Ashdown Park Hotel with around 200 audience members looking on with anticipation as our host for the night Michael Molloy of Molloy Architects  Gorey ran through the sequence of events that would enfold throughout the evening. The show it self was similar to the TV show as each of the 5 contestants were given a 5 minutes window to “pitch” their products or services to the top table and then a sequence of questions were asked about business plans, sales projection and back ground to the business ideas etc.

With the music and lighting to made the “Dragon’s Den” feel to the evening the first applicant came to the spot light and gave her pitch.  Ciara O’Dowd of Ciara’s Pantry gave a good presentation backed up with a slideshow and samples of her products. Questions followed and a great applause as she completed the first pitch to the Dragons.

Next up was Ciaran Dolan of Gorey School of Kayaking who brought with him samples, yes, Kayak’s were part of his pitch to the dragons, followed by questions and answers. Then came Dean Keating of Monaseed Sales who pitch was for a new Sales and Marketing business helping struggling businesses to get a “Sales Rep” using his services. Then came Lynsey Morehouse of Irish Dance Super Store who wants to set up an Irish Dancing Shop using her skills as an Irish Dancing Teacher. Lynsey brought along her samples with her daughter and friends modeling the clothing and accessories.

Last up was Kelly-Anne Breen of  Shen Acupuncture Clinic & Shen Cosmetic Acupuncture Clinic. Kelly Anne gave a great presentation too with a slide show explaining how her Acupuncture business was a great model for Franchising to expand the business. Kelly Anne’s business acumen was pushed in the pitched as she has worked in various business positions and believes that her idea is a good concept to be backed.

Applause all round.

After the competitors were finished the Dragons retired to make their decision and then Michael Molly took the stage again to have a chat with our local success stories in business and see how they are dealing with sales in a recession. Our local success hero’s were

  1. Shane Byrne – Arklow Waste Disposal
  2. Niamh O’Sullian of Rudy Rouge
  3. Pat Walsh – Walsh Mushrooms

Michael asked all 3 how they have kept their businesses going through hard times and who was their favourite of the 5 contestants. Once this was done the Dragons came back into the room and the announcement was made that the business the Dragons wished to give the €10,000 prize was:

Winner: Ciara’s Pantry

Michael Molly thanked the others for their presentation and told the audience to “watch this space” to see how they got on in business. The evening then turned into a networking event at the bar in which the winner was congratulated by all around and toasted as been a great business in which the BNI Chapter in Gorey was proud to be involved with.

We will be working with Ciara in the coming weeks and updates on how her business succeeds will be available online and she gets a brand new website from ourselves !

The event was a great success and requests from the floor for it to be an annual event have come forward. What can I say, ” Watch this space” !

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