Press Release

“Dragons’ Den”-style competition final at GCHQ for Intelligent Innovators

Last Updated: 01 May 2015
GCHQ, in partnership with GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership, hosts the final of a competition for Gloucestershire school pupils with new and imaginative business ideas.

Press Release - 01 May 2014

GCHQ, in partnership with GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), hosted the final today of Intelligent Innovators – a competition for school pupils to come up with new and imaginative business ideas.

In a "Dragons’ Den"-style competition, Year 9 (13-14 year-old) pupils from seven Gloucestershire schools had to pitch their ideas to a panel of GCHQ and LEP ‘Dragons’. All the finalists qualified for today’s event through winning similar competitions in local schools over the last few months.  At each stage they had to demonstrate an innovative idea around a number of different themes.

The themes pitched to the ‘Dragons’ could include ideas from business technology or mobile devices, through to making a busy business person’s life easier, or even an invention to help people be safer online. Working in teams of four to six, the pupils had to pitch an idea that included aspects of essential business processes such as finance, advertising and marketing that successfully capitalized their idea.

Deputy Head of Technology at GCHQ and head ‘Dragon’ for the day, said: "Like last year’s competition, hosted by GCHQ, we were really impressed with the quality and range of ideas and enthusiasm that was demonstrated. All the candidates handled the tough questions extremely well. It validates how many talented youngsters we have in the county."

The panel had to consider originality and the usefulness of the students’ ideas, how the teams proposed to market them, their understanding of the costs involved and also how well they presented their ideas to the ‘Dragons.’

The winning team, from Pate’s Grammar School, Cheltenham, impressed the judges with OmniSwype (a glove to control a computer instead of a mouse) that would save space, used wireless technology and had the potential for many applications.

They received a trophy and commemorative shield. Afterwards the winning captain said: "The whole experience had been very exciting, especially now to be at GCHQ, as that is such a rare opportunity."

David Owen, Chief Executive, GFirst LEP said: "This is a tremendous opportunity for us to engage with schools and we are proud to partner GCHQ in encouraging young people to think about innovation and the related business processes of successfully taking a product or service to the market."

Notes to editors:

About GCHQ

GCHQ is one of the three UK Intelligence Agencies and works to protect the UK’s national security interests. It has been engaging with the local community and supporting Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects in schools for many years.

About GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership

Set up by central Government in 2011 to work with local businesses, local voluntary organisations and local authorities, the role of GFirst LEP is to drive sustainable economic growth in the county and, by doing so, create jobs and business opportunities for Gloucestershire.

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Gloucestershire schools involved in the Intelligent Innovators final

  • Cheltenham College
  • Wycliffe College, Stonehouse
  • The Crypt School, Gloucester
  • Dean Close, Cheltenham
  • Cleeve School, Bishops Cleeve
  • Pate’s Grammar School, Cheltenham
  • Winchcombe School