Students face Dragon’s Den style panel

Supported by their Enterprise lecturer Vanessa Till and kindly accompanied by their Young Enterprise Business Adviser James Savage from CMQ Consulting, Truro College’s Young Enterprise group Atal Mor faced the “Dragons” in their first formal presentation.

The Atal Mor group with Young Enterprise Business Adviser James and lecturer Vanessa

Amber, Illani, Ella, Lily, Peter, Danny and Tom have come together to form a Young Enterprise Company, which is a National Competition to encourage young entrepreneurs. The applicants are put through their paces by having to formally set up their own company, run it with formal meetings and research and develop their own products before bringing them to market.

On the day, a panel of local business advisors came to Truro College to support and advise the newly formed team. As well as Truro College, Newquay Tretherras and Oaktree School also sent over a team for scrutiny.

The entrepreneurs were well prepared for their presentation, they had sample products and an extensive PowerPoint presentation. They showed they had carefully considered each milestone and were confident in answering questions about the business. The Dragons were very impressed not only with their innovative idea but the formation of the team and how well they worked together, considering only a few had met before this project. The team fielded a series of question and were confident in supplying answers and explaining the thought processes behind the idea.

The Dragons were very impressed with their professionalism and were able to give them some supportive ideas and further director for their next steps. The group came out elated and relieved that they had got through the grilling.

Atal Mor’s aim is to reduce environmental impacts of neoprene from wetsuits on Cornish beaches and oceans. Through extensive research, they found that wetsuits are going to recycling stores or waste but very few get re-used or recycled due to their long-lasting properties. Atol Mor’s (Cornish for Flotsam and Jetsam) mission is to find a solution to this problem.

Their initial idea was for a coffee cup holder and coasters, as it has thermogenic properties, not only keeping your drink warm but saving your hands from burning. This fits in with the College ethos of reusable coffee cups. Secondly, they reuse the leg sections to create dog wetsuits. And finally, the rest of the wetsuit is shredded into pieces, the idea is that this will be used in equestrian exercise schools to blend in with existing rubber surfaces to fill in gaps and soak up wet areas. They have researched that this has huge potential due to the amount of Sand Schools people own and hire for horses.

Of the presentation, Vanessa said: “Both James and I were very impressed with the way the group has formed and bonded over this project, they did an amazing job at presenting their idea. It’s innovative and exciting, with the potential to solve a huge problem we face in Cornwall. I hope one day to see Atal Mor wetsuit deposit bins on beaches throughout Cornwall.”

The group’s next step is a Christmas trade fair in Sainsburys on Saturday 7 December, where they can showcase their ideas and help raise funds for the future development of the company.