Thursday, December 6, 2012

News: Gala Tent impressed by enterprising students


Students at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at the Sheffield College were given a real life business challenge by Rotherham-based Gala Tent, one of the UK's leading designers and manufacturers of marquees and gazebos.

The challenge was to create a new tent product for the pet market and students worked in small groups to come up with a new product design and material specification, which they presented to judges from Gala Tent in a Dragons' Den-style pitch.

The winning team was called Paw PRINT, which included team members Kaiden Altaf, Jack Thornber and Dale Campbell. Judges were impressed with their innovative ideas for their pet tent, which included play tunnels for dogs and cats, with storage areas for toys. Their presentation was judged to be very good and they were praised on the level of detail they put into their drawings of the prototype tent.

Runners up ideas included a tent for the horse show market, a 6m x 8m tent for kennelling dogs at shows overnight, a dog cottage aimed at the camping and caravanning market and a temperature controlled tent for dogs, available in a variety of colours.

Jason Mace, managing director at Gala Tent, said: "We were really impressed with the concepts for the tents that were designed by the students, as well as the standard of their presentations, which made it difficult to choose an overall winner.

"We would like to congratulate all the teams involved, particularly Paw PRINT, for the way they responded to this very real business challenge. There were definitely one or two ideas that we could look to take forward to prototype and, who knows, you could soon be buying a Gala Tent for your pony or dog!

"It was a real pleasure to work with Sheffield College again, as the students of the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy are very commercially minded and have real entrepreneurial flair.

"Innovation is crucial in our industry and we are constantly evolving our product range to ensure we can stay one step ahead of the market. Working with the college gives us a fresh input of ideas and also helps us to identify potential recruits for the future."

Graeme Tidd, business enterprise manager at Sheffield College's Peter Jones Academy added: "Having a forward-thinking business like Gala Tent involved adds real value to the experience for our students. It is so valuable for them to work with entrepreneurs who can give them that insight into what it's like to start and run a business.

"We are looking forward to continuing to work with Gala Tent to develop this project in the future."

The Manvers firm is looking to run a follow-up challenge with the academy in 2013 when the prize will be that the winning team would have their product manufactured by the company, with the chance to sell it and make a profit for themselves.

Gala Tent website

Images: Gala Tent


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