Blue Glimpse Survived the Final Dragon’s Den

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On Friday 3rd of May, 9 MACE business groups arrived at Kingston University eager and ready to impress the final Dragon’s Den Judges.

At the end of the day there could only be two winning teams. These teams were then awarded and given the privilege to represent London and Kingston University at the Young Enterprise National competition.

The week before, end of April, we had a Mock Dragon’s Den at Kingston with three friendly but critical judges. The Mock Dragon’s Den gave us the opportunity to test our speeches and see if we could deliver the presentation within the 8 minute time slot. 8 minutes isn’t a long time when four people have to talk, we managed to go one minute over. The judges told us we needed to work on our finance section, we needed to make it flow better. We were told that the best way to present finance is by telling a story. Because we were the last to present on the day we had a 3 hour wait in between our morning class. So when we got into the mock dragons den apparently we had no energy and spirits. Our Design Thinking professor told us that when we walked into the room we looked like we were going to kill each other. That was definitely not the case, I think we were a bit tired from the long wait.

We had a break over the weekend and thought if we just dedicate one day, thursday, to perfect our presentation we should be ready and confident for the Final Dragon’s Den.

Blue Glimpse spent the day before the final dragons den at Celia’s house (Blue Glimpse Manager). We had a delicious lunch out on the terrace in the sun then we spent an hour practicing our presentation. Our tactic was to keep doing it until it we were sick of our speeches. We also managed to deliver our presentation under 8 minutes. We got more confident with our parts and so it started to flow better.

D-Day. Blue Glimpse team dressed the part, we were simple but stylish. We wanted to look professional yet simple to match our product, Jabels. We met up an hour before our presenting time slot to give us time to print out our business report and practice our presentation three times before heading to the allocated room. There were two separate Dragon’s Den judging rooms, so our 9 teams were separated. Each team had time slot of 20 minutes with the Dragon’s. This meant we had 1-2 minutes to set up, 8 minutes to present and 10 minutes for feedback and questions from the judges.

Our presentation was perfect, we were energetic and kept our smiles throughout the whole presentation. There was no hiccups and no mistakes, we were really proud of ourselves.

The advantage of being one of the first teams to present was that we were able to celebrate the end of our presentation with a bottle of wine outdoors under the warm sun. Gradually, our fellow classmates started to join us after finishing their presentations to celebrate and relax.

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Some of the MACE business teams celebrating their Final Dragons Den
Blue Glimpse: 42: Easthetic: Buttons

At 5pm the overall winners were announced. The winning teams had to present their 1-3 minutes pitch to the entire room and answer two additional questions.

The two winning MACE teams were…………….

 42 and Ferox

Afterwards, we were approached by two of our Dragon Den judges congratulating us because apparently Blue Glimpse was very close behind Ferox. The reason why Blue Glimpse did not win was because we were targeting the wrong audience. The judges also said that our presentation was outstanding but only if we had the correct target audience.

It was a shame that we were not one of the teams to go to Nationals but we are extremely proud of our MACE teams 42 and Ferox in winning.

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To the shops!

After good constructive feed back Blue Glimpse was sent to London on the mission to see how shops display kitchenware products in the similar category as Jabels.

Before heading to London, we were confused if we should consider Jabels as a kitchen gadget or utensil.

After walking around the kitchenware sections in stores we quickly learned that our Jabels are more in the gadget category and not utensil category. We decided that utensils are kitchen products that have more of a direct contact with food such as garlic crushers and bowls. However, we found that Jabels would suit the gadget category because they do not necessarily have a direct contact with the food products for example corkscrews and digital scales.

Jabels are positioned around jars, bottles, and small tupperware boxes, they do not have a direct contact with food products.

One of the criticism for our display table of Jabels at the first trade fair was that it was not displaying the proper function of the product. Jabels wasn’t presented in a way where people would look at the product and think ‘kitchen’ or ‘food’. It is important that at trade fairs that customers can find the direct link between your product and function quickly. If this connection is not clear then it is possible that customers will avoid visiting your stall. This connection is important in big kitchenware stores and departments because there might not be anyone around to explain the full function of the products. On the other hand, this confusion may be a benefit at trade fairs because for those who are curious and confused about the function of your product may still visit your stall and ask you directly about your product.

 We found that the kitchen gadgets and utensils display areas in the stores so colourful and eye catching. We saw brands such as Zeal, Copenhagen, and Joseph and Joseph.

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Image ZEAL

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                                                   JOSEPH AND JOSEPH

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NORMAN COPENHAGEN

We thought our colourful dark blue and white Jabels would fit into the display area quite well. However, for the future we do want to look into more bright colours for Jabels as well as manufacturing bigger size Jabels to fit over tupperware boxes.

In the store there was a display table in between the kitchen gadget display and kitchen utensil display with jars of condiments such as mustard, pickle, olivers etc. I thought it would be perfect if not only could we get jables displayed on the hanging displays against the wall but display their function by having them position on these jars of condiments displaying the expiry dates, ‘Eat Me by’, ‘Opened On’ written on the Jabels.

Our next trade fair table displayed Celia Small’s, Manager of Blue Glimpse, fridge creation. She converted a small wooden box into a fridge by painting the box white and sticking a picture of the inside of her fridge to the back so when you open the door it looks like a mini fridge. Inside the mini fridge we placed jars and bottles in the fridge with Jabels displaying their expiry dates.

We were all proud of Celia’s fridge and it helped the customers make a quick connection of our Jabels to its function

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Overall, we were glad that we went on our mission to London as it was extremely helpful in  determining what category of kitchenware our Jabels are and it gave us an important insight in how we should display our Jabels so that the function is clearly evident.

As a reward, after our mission we took ourselves to Byron Burgers to have lunch. It was a successful day out with Blue Glimpse.

Blue Glimpse’s first ‘Dragons Den’ session

This was the day we had to put our pitching skills and our product, JABELS, to the test.

We met up earlier to practice our 5 minutes speech. Through our first three practices I found myself laughing during my teammates speeches. The laughing caught on and one other teammate started to laugh with me. It was a nervous laughing and I was worried I was going to start laughing in front of the dragons.

Nervously, we headed towards the den. As there were 9 business groups we were spilt into two different dens. Pinned on the doors were the allocated business groups for each den and the order of presentation. We were last to present.

Each room had 7 dragons. The panel of dragons were people from different professional backgrounds. Each group presents for 5 minutes then there was time for questions and feedback from the dragons.

Dragon’s Den begun and I couldn’t stop shaking.

It was our turn. My stomach flipped. We stood up and positioned ourselves in front of the dragons.

Phew… No mistakes and no random laughing fits, our presentation went well.

We got good constructed criticism from the dragons. They weren’t convinced about our target audience, women over 30 years old. It was suggested that we could aim at a younger demographic group like university students living in shared houses or carers looking after elderly people. A dragon asked us if we were going to look into producing different sizes and look into producing Jabels that will fit over tupperware boxes. (My team and I had already had the discussion and we understand that more people use tupperware to store food in the fridge) In response we said that we our main focus right now is jar sized Jabels but we are interested in looking into producing larger sizes.

A dragon suggested that we could make stickers instead. I was a bit taken back. I had already explained in my speech that the problem with sticker labels is that the sticky glue gets stuck onto the jars surfaces and it takes a lot of effort to get rid of. Jabels are efficient and re-useable, after writing on the Jabels you can wash the text off with water and soap.

Towards the end a dragon admitted to us that he would not use the product but one another said that he was very impressed and that he would buy our products.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have our final product with us at the dragon’s den but we made prototypes. We bought charity bands and sheets of whiteboard. We cut the white board into pieces and stuck the pieces onto the rubber bands.

Here are photos of our Jabels prototypes

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The final product of Jabels are made out of rubber.

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P.s Blue Glimpse have their final product, JABELS, and are ready to sell

* More posts about JABELS will appear over the next few weeks.