Armley: Dixons Unity Academy scoop top national business prize

diixons unity academy armley business award

A young team of aspiring entrepreneurs from Dixons Unity Academy in Armley have won the national Dragon’s Den-style final of the prestigious 2019 Prince’s Trust Enterprise Challenge in London.

Having won the regional final last month at KPMG in Leeds, the team represented Yorkshire against the winning schools from the North West, South East, London, West Midlands and Scotland for the chance to become national champions.

Team ‘AIClass’ from Dixons Unity Academy beat stiff competition, successfully pitching their business idea in a ‘Dragons Den’ style format to a panel of successful business people.

This included directors from Bank of England, KPMG and Legal365.

The winners received a trophy, cash for the school and some five-star treatment after the event. They are the first team from the Yorkshire region to win the competition.

Designed to tackle the teacher retention and recruitment crisis, their idea was to develop a web application which uses artificial intelligence to mark exams, giving students instant results and feedback and enabling teachers to focus on preparing great lessons.

A written business proposal accompanied the team’s presentation, detailing market research, key selling points, product comparison and commitment to sustainability.

To achieve the latter, 25% of profits were to be reinvested in their charitable arm, ‘AIGiving’ which would help to fund artificial intelligence and technology careers for students.

The team received the following prizes:

  • £2500 for the school
  • £500 seed money to help get their business idea off the ground
  • An experience at The London Tea Exchange sampling some of the rarest tea from around the world, include a cup of the most expensive tea in the world, costing £1500 a pot!
  • An exclusive backstage experience at the Peacock theatre with the Grammy award winning Soweto Gospel Choir
  • A pair of Beats headphones each
  • A goody bag of stationary
  • Being chauffeured around London in top-of-the-range Rolls Royce Phantoms

Assistant vice principal Hamzah Khan, who has mentored with the team throughout the competition, said:

“I have been involved in this event for the last three years and this was the toughest of the finals I have attended. The team’s success is testimony to their determination and how well they prepared!”

Principal Danny Carr said:

“We are so proud of these young men and the amazing way they have represented our academy, our community, our city and our county. This is an outstanding achievement and the result of a lot of hard work.”

Run annually, the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Challenge is a national competition that aims to inspire knowledge, raise aspirations, confidence, self-efficacy and long-term employability among secondary school pupils.

Supported by specialist volunteer mentors from across the business community, students compete for six-weeks in an online business game where they must develop, market and sell a new product.

Hundreds of teams compete in each region of the and the top five then go through to the regional finals.


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