Four new business start-ups were given a cash grant by Sir John Peace. The applicants were chosen by local Nottingham Dragons, where shortlisted business ideas were presented to a panel of five local businessmen, as well as Nottingham University.

dragonsden The Dragons, Mark Samworth, Nat Puri, Ian Baxter, Peter Johal, Rob Atkinson and Ian Dwyer met the hopefuls at the impressive HQ of Speedo International, whose premises were kindly offered as a host venue in support of the venture.

Set up by the Nottinghamshire Community Foundation, Nottingham Dragons’ Den will be offering new enterprises both funds and help from local businesses on a bi-annual basis.

In 2012 Sir John Peace was pleased to offer sponsorship through the High Sheriff Fund. Handing the cheques to the young entrepreneurs he said, “the ideas and individuals that have been recognised have terrific potential and should be encouraged and supported to turn their businesses into the multinationals of the future”.

The start-ups to receive business grants were: Adam Roberts for his business Easy Pre-orders Ltd, Holly Bambury for her business MammiNatal, Simon Jacobs with his idea Uni2Know and Kathryn Whitley with Luna Ascent.

Nina Dauban, the Community Foundation’s CEO said, “We are delighted to have such excellent business ideas given the encouragement they deserve. The Dragons not only gave them advice on the day but have also offered direct mentoring and support to the winning ideas, which I suspect they will find more valuable than the award.”

Law firm Geldards LLP also sponsored the event, offering £1000 of free legal advice to two of the young entrepreneurs.

Hugh Strickland, corporate partner at Geldards and a trustee of Nottinghamshire Community Foundation said, “Creativity is a key component of any successful business. From a personal point of view it has been a great privilege to be involved with the Dragons’ Den process and be able to offer advice and support to such a talented  group of young entrepreneurs.“