Apprentice Entrepreneurs Enter A Dragon’s Den

Business hopefuls strut their stuff at UEL's Knowledge Dock

East London’s annual E-Factor competition is underway, with budding entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas in the hope of gaining an investment package for their start-up businesses.

This year the competition attracted 84 entrants, up from last year’s total of 68. The Alan Sugar-wannabes have already been cut down to a short list of 21, who have been put through their paces in an entrepreneurial boot camp.

The E-Factor boot camp is underway (Photo from Thomas Shorey, UEL Enterprise).

The boot camp ran from Tuesday 15 February to Thursday 17 February, with the entrepreneurs and their teams taking part in exercises designed to test their abilities and finesse their business models, such as marketing and finance workshops, as well as team building tasks.

In the coming weeks, the shortlist of 21 will be required to take part in further exercises to whittle the competition down even further, with the semi-final scheduled to take place in the Knowledge Dock on the University of East London’s Docklands Campus on 30 March.

The shortlisted entrepreneurs (Photo from Thomas Shorey, UEL Enterprise).

Once the semi-final has been concluded, the remaining hopefuls will need to present their business plans to an invited audience at the final, which is due to take place on 18 May in Bank Street, Canary Wharf, where the winner will eventually be given the help and investment they require to start their business. The investment package includes a £6,000 grant.

Each hopeful entrepreneur has created a video pitch for the competition, which is available to view on a playlist here.