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New ‘Dragons' Den’ competition for UK manufacturers

British manufacturers and designers are being invited to take part in a new Dragons’ Den-style competition at this year’s Meet the Manufacturer sourcing conference and trade show.

Ra smart stand

The contest, called Designer’s Den, will be held on the second day of Meet the Manufacturer, which takes place on May 25-26 at The Old Truman Brewery in east London.

Those interested in taking part will be asked to submit ideas ahead of time. A shortlist will be selected to attend the event and pitch their idea to a panel of experts. The prize is £1,000 to invest in their idea, as well as free advertising on the Meet the Manufacturer website.

Kate Hills, chief executive and founder of Make it British, which organises Meet the Manufacturer, said: “Since innovation is the key theme for our event this year, Dragons’ Den inspired us to give manufacturers and designers the opportunity to pitch their creative and pioneering concepts to a panel of experts to gain the recognition and mentoring to enable them to transform their business.”

Manufacturers are also invited to submit details of any innovations in technology, design, product development and sustainability they are working on or have recently launched, for a new concept called Innovation Accelerator.

Those with the most interesting ideas will be given five minutes to pitch them live during the Innovation Accelerator session on day one of Meet the Manufacturer. Again, a panel of experts will offer feedback on their commercial viability.

The winner will be given a free stand at the 2017 Meet the Manufacturer event, worth £1,000.

The closing date for initial applications to take part in the Designer’s Den and Innovation Accelerator is April 22.

Hills, who spent 20 years working as a designer and buyer for brands including Burberry and Marks & Spencer, launched Meet the Manufacturer in 2014. More than 150 British manufacturers and designers are due to exhibit at the show in May.




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