Dragons’ Den at Legal & General

Pupils from Hove Park School got involved in a Dragons’ Den style event hosted by financial services company Legal & General.

The pupils were tasked with coming up with an idea using robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) and creating a business plan for it.

After initially pitching their plans to teachers, five groups of pupils were shortlisted to take part in the event at L&G’s offices in Hove on Thursday.

The panel included two robotics experts, Paul Buckle and Mark Wilkinson, and a learning and development consultant Gary Shewan from L&G, Tom Druitt, CEO and founder of The Big Lemon, and Jenny Day, owner of business Body Happy.

The winner was ‘Snooze u Looze’ which is an alarm clock which will not turn off until a puzzle is completed to prevent people from hitting the snooze button. The idea uses AI technology because the level of the puzzle is determined by how the user gets on with the puzzle daily, adjusting its difficulty.

The team consisted of four students, Alice, Maddie, Maddie and Isabella.

The Dragons’ Den event was organised as part of the community partnership between Hove Park School and L&G.

Alice, from the winning team, said: “We’re really pleased to win and also grateful for this opportunity. We worked very hard as a team but all the teams did well.”

Lead Practitioner for Digital Fluency Phil Sumner added: “The Dragons’ Den challenge has given our students the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership skills, creativity and critical thinking. Seeing Year 9 students confidently pitch their ideas to the dragons shows how talented they are.”

Lucy Pearce, Colleague and Community Engagement Manager for L&G, said: “It has been fantastic working with Hove Park School in recent months and we look forward to offering more opportunities like this in the future.

“For this event, the pupils came up with some really creative ideas which was great to see and so it was hard for our dragons to choose a winner.”

Tom Druitt said: “It was great to see how engaged the pupils were with the project. They came up with fantastic ideas using AI and robotics technology in a game changing way.”

Jenny Day also added: “It was fascinating to hear the students ideas and exciting to see what technology could be brought from that age group and the next generation.”