The Dragon Factor
25–Year old LYIT Student Wins Donegal's Dragon Factor
At just 25 years of age and in one of Ireland's worst recessions, Aidan Robb from Kildrum, Carrigans wants to start a business. The 2nd year Business Studies student at Letterkenny Institute of Technology has always harbored ambitions and passions to run his own business. But it seems those dreams will now become a reality. Aidan is the winner of the inaugural "Dragon Factor" competition spear–headed by Craoibhin Community and Enterprise Group in Termon, Co. Donegal.
Seven local entrepreneurs went head to head in the grand finale last Friday night (4th March 2011) for a prize package worth €10,000. A panel of seven local business people adjudicated on proceedings but the ultimate decision lay with the Dragon Factor audience which was made up of 200 people. The event MC was Joanne Sweeney–Burke of Media Box.
Aidan impressed Dragons with his business acumen, product knowledge and ultimately his innovative idea which aims to reduce crime theft in the haulage industry. "Cargo Defenders" is an alert system aimed at reducing the incidents of theft of cargo transported by side-loaded truck trailers. Aidan says "that cargo theft is a major problem in the EU. According to an EU parliament report in 2007 estimated losses of 8.2 billion euro occurred across the European continent."
Aidan walked away with €2,000 of startup capital; a Laptop and Printer; Digital Marketing & PR Consultancy from Media Box; a Website and first year's maintenance sponsored by Town.ie; Stationery Suite sponsored by Sharp Design; financial and legal services sponsored by Oifig Thart; a place on the "Start Your Own Business" course sponsored by Donegal County Enterprise Board; Business Signage from CBM Signs and a filing cabinet sponsored by Garry Office Supplies.
The Dragon Factor, brainchild of the voluntary committee at Craoibhin Centre, was inspired by the success of RTE's Dragon's Den. The Committee launched the search for Donegal's newest and brightest entrepreneur in September and were delighted with the feedback. Chairperson Michael McBride says, "we are thrilled for Aidan and already his business idea is generating lots of interest and we are delighted to have been able to provide a platform for him to start his own business. Our involvement is part of our commitment to our local community and our passion for our county We look forward to watching Aidan's progress."
"I would also like to pay tribute to our prize sponsors and to Donegal County Enterprise Board who were a key partner in this project. Brakes were also a key sponsor and provided the buffet on the night." Asked whether the Dragon Factor will be back for a new series in 2011, Michael McBride said, "Watch this space".
For more details on the night and to view an interview with Aidan Robb visit the Dragon Factor and An Craoibhin on Facebook.
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