The TES Dragons’ Den was won on February 18 by a startup called Superbowl, which is proposing to fill a gap in the market for healthy, customizable breakfasts suitable for various dietary requirements. The company, which is proposing to open its first location in the IFSC is planning to retail these bowls at €6, with a base of acai or porridge and will offer user customizable topping options with various berries and nuts. The judges, who got to try a taster of the acai bowl were impressed and on awarding the company first place and prize money of €2000, Christine Carty, HR business partner at TATA, the main sponsor of the night remarked “This idea came with a product on the table, it came with enthusiasm and they were just really positive”
The runner up, which received prize money of €1000 was a company called Small Farms. Small Farms offered an extremely sustainable alternative source of protein in the form of crickets. The crickets, which leave very little environmental impact and produce 6 to 10 times more protein than beef, are ground into flour. There is currently no company in the world proposing to organically farm crickets and they already have a client interested, an Icelandic based protein supplement company.
The Dragons were Niall O’Farrell, the current managing director of Henry Jermyn Shirtmakers, and one of the original Dragons on RTE’s Dragons Den; Jamie White, the founder of College Times and Youth Nation and the social media agency Leading Social; Stephen O’Sullivan who operates the digital marketing company Eyefall. The fourth and fifth judges were Christine Carty, of TATA and David Tighe, Head of Innovation at Bank of Ireland, the other sponsor of the night and former Trinity SU president.
The competition was stiff with a judge commenting “ “They are the best ideas I have ever seen in a student competition”. The winners had to contend with Casper the friendly host, a user centric app that would link together all the events going on in college and allow students to view a personalised noticeboard of what’s happening around the campus on any given evening, Assistable, an app to aid restaurant management and customer staff interaction. ReFundee, another app that aimed to support migrants fleeing their countries and Newsfound.ie, which would filter content specifically to the user’s preference and provide only news articles the user had an interest in and reduce user scrolling so ads were more positively received.