Melrose entrepreneurs make big impression

Eleven teams from Year 7 of St Mary's School, Melrose took part in the TRI Cap Young Entrepreneur Competition.

Eleven teams from Year 7 of St Mary's School, Melrose took part in the TRI Cap Young Entrepreneur Competition.

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Eleven teams from St Mary’s School in Melrose took part in an entrepreneur competition, competing for £250 in prize money.

The judging panel was chaired by Rangers Football Club vice chairman and professional investor Paul Murray.

Entries included a gym generator which converts treadmill energy into electricity, gum guard innovations, a photosensitive windscreen, a Christmas tree recycling project and a female-only handy person service for the Borders.

First prize went to Elpies; a simple rubber attachment for pencils which not only provides a shock absorber to prevent pencil leads from breaking, but also acts as a ‘fiddle aid’ to help concentration.

In third place was Steaming Goggles, an innovative solution for a common problem with swimming goggles by Anna Scott and Louisa Forbes. In second place was L & M Drone Roof & Building Inspectors which uses a drone to survey hard to reach areas. This project was presented by Lachaln Ferguson and Mauz Chaudhry.

Paul Murray said: “We particularly liked the simplicity of the idea and the range of uses this product has, not just in practical terms but also as a collectible. Joseph Ward and Liam Buchanan had put together a really impressive presentation and they answered even the most difficult questions with great assurance.”

The other judges were Paul Yuskaitis, a director of TRI Cap, and Kathy Kinder, TRI Cap’s investment manager.

Kathy Kinder said: “We were hugely impressed by the time, effort and hard work that had gone into these presentations. Of course the reality of angel investment is very different to Dragons’ Den. TRI Cap invests in new and established businesses in the Scottish Borders and North of England, looking to take them on to the next level. We provide not only funding but also strategic guidance and board level support. None of the projects we saw this evening are quite ready for that yet!”

Paul Yuskaitis added: “There are no immediate plans to put any of these business ideas into action and winners are allowed to spend the prize money on whatever they want. But it was really encouraging to see such a range of great ideas. I wish I’d come up with some of them myself!”