Girvan Academy pupils win ‘Dragons Den’

The winning Girvan Academy Pupils alongside the judges including Sir Tom Hunter (far left).
The winning Girvan Academy Pupils alongside the judges including Sir Tom Hunter (far left).

Pupils from Girvan Academy are celebrating after they won a ‘Dragons Den’ style challenge led by Sir Tom Hunter.

At an event held at Maybole’s Carrick Centre on Thursday night, S3 pupils from the school were the winners of the business challenge after seeing off competition from other schools across South Ayrshire.

Helped by their teacher Mrs Dupuy, Jay Mooney, Kyle Brown, Marc Fraser, Gillian Ferguson, Beth Radic and Sandie McMillan impressed the judges with their ‘Blueshoe’ idea.

The ‘Blueshoe’ idea would see a sportshoe created with a bluetooth device attached to it so it can track how far you have walked or ran and there would also be the scope for the device to publish to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter through an app.

Jay Mooney revealed that the pupils had done research into Sir Tom’s background before the event.

“We were keen to do something around sport and when we discovered he started off selling sports shoes out the back of a van and owned Sports Division we went with the idea as we thought that would appeal to him.

“It did on the night and to be the first winners of the challenge in South Ayrshire is great.”

The Girvan pupils impressed the judges, Sir Tom Hunter, Ayrshire College principal Heather Dunk, KLIN Group Chair Marie Macklin CBE and David Ross and fielded tough questions.

Kyle Brown said: “We were asked about how we’d be a socially responsible business so we told them that we wouldn’t be importing from overseas and instead we would be using the money to help boost employment back in Girvan.”

Teacher Mrs Dupuy said: “They’ve done very well and I’m so very proud of them all as we spent a few weeks on the idea together and really fine tuned it.

“They deserve their certificates and prize money.”

Judge Marie Macklin said: “I was really impressed by the submissions from all the South Ayrshire schools but the team from Girvan were just amazing.

“Their presentation skills, research, product and business plan were ahead of the pack - in fact their pitch was the best I’ve seen in a long time.

“The fact that they included community regeneration, jobs and returning profit to a local community project showed me these were pupils on top of their game and a credit to their school.

“With young people like this in South Ayrshire, Scotland is in very safe hands as we strive to become the most entrepreneurial society in the world.”

In a boost for Carrick schools, Carrick Academy came second with their ‘Chameleon’ idea which was a trainer with an interchangeable sole fitted with a tracking device linked to an app. The team of Lewis Alexander, Logan Blane, Ryan Ferguson, Rochelle Millar, Jennifer Muir and Austin Wise made a strong pitch and took away £400 to spend as their runners-up prize in the school.