Students pitch their tent ideas for final chance

Jason Mace with a group of young entrepreneurs

The managing director of Gala Tent, which supplies commercial marquees, tents and gazebos, has been working with students from the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy (PJEA) to create a brand new product.

The products are a result of a project launched in partnership with PJEA and Gala Tent which started in September incorporating a Dragons’ Den style set up with Jason Mace, managing director of Rotherham-based Gala Tent, and other professionals.

One of the judges on the panel, Karl Kent, business bank manager at RBS, said: “It has been great to see the enthusiasm and interest that the project has created. The groups have worked really hard to come up with an innovative idea and I believe some of them have achieved this. It will be great to see the design come to reality”.

At this stage of the project the original six groups have been shortlisted down to three. 

The next step for the students is to have consultations with professional product developers to create working models to be sent for manufacture. 

The project finale will be held at Gala Tent headquarters based in Manvers in the new year when each team will be presented with their finished product and the overall winner announced. 

The students whose product is chosen will then receive five per cent of the profits made when Gala Tent mass produce and include it in their product range. 

Gala Tent, which started life as a table top business in September 1999, is now situated in a 53,000 sq ft unit with an annual turnover of over £5m.

The PJEA was founded by entrepreneur and star of Dragons’ Den, Peter Jones, with a view to encouraging more entrepreneurial activity within the UK.