Londonderry ‘tech’ student Nicola McLaughlin is one step closer to achieving her fashion label dream after winning the final of a Dragons Den style competition.
The 26 year old, who is currently studying the HND in Fashion and Textiles at the North West Regional College’s Strand Road Campus, pitched her future venture to the Business Launchpad panel of judges during a live final held in Belfast recently.
Nicola’s idea of a new innovative fashion label and fashion blog secured her a place in the final, with her five-minute pitch landing her a winning spot.
She said: “Business Launchpad really appealed to me because it gave me relevant and real experience in progressing a business idea from conception to launch, allowing me not only to learn about business planning, but also try my hand at real experience opportunities like the live pitching to local entrepreneurs.
“It has given me a real sense of what it would be like to set up my own business and introduced me to some valid routes to success.
“I am delighted to have won the live pitch as it is a great way to top off a fantastic few months.”
Nicola has already seen success in the industry following her award of Irish Fashion Blogger of the Year for thesecretcinderella.com
Business Launchpad allows students enrolled on a full-time or part-time course at NWRC or Belfast Met to develop their business ideas and provide stepping stones for setting up a business.
Throughout the programme, students explored potential business ideas, held interactive workshops with local entrepreneurs, availed of tailored guidance and mentoring and wrote a business plan.
Seven students from over 170 reached the final stage of the programme and pitched their business idea to a panel of four established local business owners consisting of Mary McCall, Founder and Managing Director of TreatTicket.com, Jacqui O’Doherty, Investment Executive at eSynergy, Dr. Paul Beaney, Project Manager at VITAL, and Frankie McCourt, Regional Economic Development at Invest NI.