Gherkin building to host Dragons den business competition

The Gherkin, in central London, is to become a ‘Dragon’s Den’ for entrepreneurs competing to win free office space.

The finalists of the competition will give a presentation on April 30th, at the famous London building, where they will discuss their business ideas.

At present Rona Robinson, from Barnet, is a favourite to win the competition as she has got further than 133 other competitors.

Ms Robinson’s idea is to manufacture unlicensed medicine in cases where a licensed product is not available.

In an earlier round, this plan impressed the judges and as a result she now has the chance to present her idea to Julie Meyer, a dragon in BBC’s online Dragons’ Den.

At the event Ms Robinson will compete against nine others, with the possibility of winning a trophy, £25,000, business advice and a fully furnished office space.

Ms Robinson said, “I am thrilled to be through to the final. This is a great venture and a challenging opportunity for me.

As a scientist I am not used to competing in competitions and I am looking forward to the feedback from the judges when we pitch our idea next week.

The scheme was set up to encourage local people to go into business, and become real entrepreneurs. This is something that Ms Robinson seems to have done.

Nigel Culkin, director of the Centre for Innovation and Enterprise at the University of Hertfordshire, said, “Rona has shown great entrepreneurial spirit to make it through to this stage, but it is now down to who can hold their nerve for the Dragons-style pitch on April 30.

The winner of the competition will be announced at an official dinner on Friday, May 7th.