Students from Brooke Weston impressed bosses at RS Components during a Dragons’ Den style presentation. Ben Middleton and Jordan Young head up Brooke Weston’s Young Enterprise team that has developed and marketed an ‘exam-busters’ stationery kit.
They outlined the ‘Simply Sorted’ project to RS’s UK management team, detailing budgetary and business plans and answering questions during the hour-long session. Ben and Jordan made such a favourable impression that RS will donate 150 memory sticks to boost the project and, in addition, have offered to brand them with the Simply Sorted logo.
The presentation was attended by Mr Iain Lennard, Mr Guy Magrath, Mr Scott Mulligan and Mr Scott Jayes, the Heads of Sales, Marketing, Finance and Customer Services respectively. Also present in the boardroom at RS Components were teacher Jonathan Browne and Ms Katie Larkin, management accountant at RS UK, who has been mentoring the Brooke Weston team for the project.
Teacher Mr Browne said: ‘They did a 15 minute pitch explaining the whole concept. All four dragons thought it was inspirational. Then they quizzed them for 40 minutes asking them about finance, branding and every aspect of the business. The head of marketing said it was a fantastic concept. Ben and Jordan did a fantastic presentation, got amazing feedback and I am very proud of them.’
The ‘Dragons’ Den’ meeting was arranged after the Brooke Weston team and others on the Young Enterprise scheme ran a trade fair at RS in January, selling their products to staff, an event featured in the latest edition of ‘Observers,’ the company's in-house magazine. The team will now take part in the area final and submit a report on their progress. They will also pitch their product to local schools, educational retailers and stationery outlets.
Jordan said: ‘We had to brush up on our finance and company accounts before we went. This was the biggest presentation we have done by far. We had four out of six of the board of directors there. We compiled a Powerpoint presentation with information about our product, our vision and our finances with gross margins and profits. It has been a great learning process and, later on in life if we, or anyone in the group, goes into business this process will have really benefited us.’
Ben Middleton, managing director of Simply Sorted, said: ‘We learned so much. The directors at RS Components said we were two really good figureheads. When you have four big figures in a UK company saying that it is really good to see such young people with enthusiam and skill. The things we have come across and faced have prepared us and have opened our eyes to the potential that we have for the business and the distance, spectrum and size that the company could be.’