Coventry College’s business students have been making the most of remote learning by taking part in a virtual Dragons’ Den challenge, which ended with a face-to-face pitch to seven business experts.
A group of 18 Level 3 Business students broke off into teams to brainstorm, plan and present their best eco-friendly household innovations to seven Barclays employees in a virtual project day facilitated by Volunteering Matters.
The students, who are in the second year of their studies, met the team from Barclays via Microsoft Teams to learn about different roles within the organisation, including finance, marketing and product services, and the history of the company.
They were then given assignment briefs to be completed in small groups, with each group asked to devise or adapt a product to take advantage of a gap in the home appliance market and update it to be more energy efficient.
This involved conducting market research, drawing up financial proposals, and presenting their ideas to the Barclays team at the end of the day in a Dragons’ Den style pitch.
The groups then faced a nervous wait as the experts deliberated before selecting a winner, giving feedback and suggestions on how they might improve their plans should the students wish to take their products to market.
The winning product was a smart phone app that makes dishwashers more eco-friendly by allowing users to control them remotely and track activity throughout the day to optimise energy use. The winning group received Amazon vouchers.
Donna Mason, Curriculum Manager Business and Professional at Coventry College, said: “The students enjoyed the opportunity to put their learning into action in a real-life situation with the support of professionals from the workplace.
“They all commented on how much they enjoyed it and how it made their learning come to life.”
Ines Araujo, Engagement Manager for Volunteering Matters, said: “The volunteers from the Barclays team really enjoyed the event, and I was very impressed with the students’ engagement and creativity.”
Gemma Knott, Vice Principal for Business Growth, Engagement and Partnerships at Coventry College, added: “It’s great to see our staff and students making the most of virtual learning opportunities.
“The project was an effective way for our business students to interact with and learn from the professionals, and we hope to host more sessions like this across a variety of our courses in future.”