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Rotherham’s very own Dragons’ Den is hailed a roaring success!

posted 11 Oct 2010, 00:37 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 11 Oct 2010, 00:39 ]
Rotherham Enterprise Board and UK Steel Enterprise hosted their first Dragons’ Den event, which was inspired by the BBC show of the same name, on the 30th of September 2010 at RiDO’s Fusion @ Magna Business Centre.

Five local companies pitched their business expansion dreams to a panel of local Dragons, which included Rotherham Enterprise Board’s Vice Chair and Operations Director of Optimas Training, Matthew Smith.

Matthew said: “The calibre of businesses that pitched their expansion ideas was truly awe-inspiring, their stories were so diverse and their vision for the future excellent. As a panel we were pleased to be able to offer all the businesses some degree of support, free advice or the potential to discuss investment opportunities.”

Competition for the prize for best pitch was fierce, with all five businesses proving their worth in front of the panel and invited audience. 

The pitching Entrepreneurs were Matthew Burgin of BBAD Ltd, Mick Conlin of Bramley Blinds, Peter Kuleszka of Velocity Legal, Paul Moorhead of Moorhead Savage Ltd and Fiona Morgan of Alexandra Buffet Company. 

Fiona was crowned the winner and received a £1500 cash prize and exclusive editorial coverage in South Yorkshire Business Magazine. The panel felt Fiona’s passion and energy for her business shone through and were impressed that she had reinvested her profits not only in the development of her business but also in the local community. 

Fiona said: “I’m honoured to have won the Dragons’ Den Event. I have had offers of help and support from the Dragon’s and audience members - never in a million years did I think this was possible and I’m very grateful for all the help and support!” 

Tata Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise funded the event. Regional Manager Keith Williams said: “We are delighted to support Rotherham Enterprise Board and the Dragons’ Den-type Events. There is a wide range of business support available in Rotherham. 

“The Enterprise Board events are designed to help early stage and smaller businesses, whilst loan and equity finance of up to £750,000 is available from our own investment fund for more established businesses in Rotherham and throughout South Yorkshire.”

A second Dragons Den event is planned for February 2011, if you are interested in participating contact Laura Brown, Enterprise Events Co-ordinator for an informal discussion and to find out more about the application process on 01709 823816 or email

Rotherham Enterprise Board is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.