Shrewsbury Sixth Form College students, part of Shrewsbury Colleges Group, who are currently undertaking their BTEC Level 3 Business course were invited as part of an initiative between Shrewsbury Colleges Group, Shrewsbury Town Football Club and Shrewsbury Town in the Community to pitch ideas for a new product to sell in the football club’s shop.

12 teams of students were whittled to 4 final teams, before being given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of “Dragons”, featuring Shrewsbury Town’s CEO Brian Caldwell, Shrewsbury Town in the Community’s Head of Community Jamie Edwards and Partnerships and Events manager Ceri Nicholls.

The teams were asked to present a presentation to the Dragons, including their primary and secondary research, design ideas and costing, before opening the floor to questions from the panel.

The finalists presented a range of products aimed at a young audience, with the ideas pitched including drinking cups, toys and clothing.

The winning team’s design featured the printing of Shrewsbury Town Football Club’s iconic badge, whilst also featuring a facial graphic of club mascot Lenny the Lion, whilst featuring a swirly straw inside the cup. The team explained to the dragons that they felt this product would be a low-risk investment for the club shop due to the longevity of shelf life that the product presents.

After a long deliberation and much toing and froing from the panel of dragons, a split decision saw Team 4’s Lenny Cup come out as the winner from the challenge, with the Team Bus Football Pitch idea from Team 3 finishing the runner-up, Team 2’s Hooded Lenny Poncho finishing 3rd and Team 1’s plastic cup finishing 4th. Shrewsbury Town CEO Brian Caldwell and Head of Community Jamie Edwards explained to the students what they found good about each of the pitched ideas whilst also explaining where each team could improve and how difficult the decision was to pick an overall winner from the 4 nominated finalists.

Speaking of the event, Shrewsbury Sixth Form College Business Teacher Cathy McAllister said,

“It’s been a fantastic challenge. Jade came in originally and gave a brief to 12 teams of students, who put together a presentation and researched a product for the club shop for 5 to 12-year-olds.

“Brian Caldwell shortlisted 4 teams to come and present today, which has given them the experience to present to professional business people as part of their course is a fantastic opportunity.

“It’s been putting what they learn in their business lessons into practice, and they can take that with them, whether they go into further education or into work, but also gives them life skills picked up alongside their course that they can carry with them throughout life.”

Speaking of winning the event, 2nd year Business A-level student Abigail Agyeman said,

“It means a lot to be named winners of the Business Enterprise Challenge, it shows that the hard work and time that we have put into this has paid off.

“This has been a great opportunity for me personally as I want to pursue a career in law in the future, and by taking part in this shows that I can stand up and speak in front of high calibre professionals, and any type of profession with confidence.”

Brian Caldwell, Shrewsbury Town CEO, spoke of the high standards that the students displayed during the event,

“I was very impressed with the quality of the presentations and the thought, planning and imagination that went into their proposals.

“Such was the very high standard of the four presentations it was extremely hard to pick a winner as each one could have potentially won the challenge.”

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