Preston student to shadow Dragon’s Den dragon after winning competition

Posted on - 31st March, 2022 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Education, Preston News, UCLan
UCLan’s Jiaqi Rong, who was in the winning team at the Two + Two event.

A second-year student from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) will be getting advice and a unique insight from a dragon from Dragon’s Den after winning a creative competition.

Jiaqi Rong, who is studying creative advertising in Preston, was a member of a five-strong team at the Two + Two student competition and will get to spend a day with entrepreneur Steven Bartlett, founder of Social Chain.

The team took part in a five-hour challenge that focused on data for good and sustainability in transport and was set by headline sponsor Wejo, a Manchester-based connected vehicle data software solutions provider.

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The teams had to think about a variety of marketing aspects, including key audience insight and brand insight, and create layouts and scripts.

In addition, they had to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges at various stages throughout the day.

Jiaqi and her teammates competed against 200 other creative and marketing students from 16 universities across the North of England in the one-day event, held in Manchester.

Jiaqi, who is from China, said: “When we won the championship, the room was very noisy, and my team members repeatedly asked is it us? Have we won? I couldn’t believe it.

“During the competition, all the team members fully expounded their own opinions and suggestions.

“We got excellent creative ideas and I’m absolutely delighted to be recognised by the judges.

“It was a hard brief to think of a big idea to change the world in a short amount of time.

“We thought it’s not just about the benefits of sharing data, it’s about convincing our audience that we can help them.

“Our final idea was to put ‘me’ into ‘we’ to change the world. This also corresponded with our focus on making a better world.”

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The event also tested the students’ communication skills as they were split up and had to work with fellow students from different universities.

Jiaqi said: “It was the first time I’d met my team members and it was hard to work together to deliver our work in a short space of time.

“There were differences of opinion during the process, but these differences didn’t affect the outcome.

“I think it actually helped us win the prize because we brainstormed so well and the discussions expanded our thinking.”

As well as spending time with the investor, they will have their final ideas displayed on the second largest digital billboard in Europe, on Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse.

Julie Ollerton, managing director of organiser’s Creative Resource, said: “The quality of the creative ideas was of a high standard that blew the judges away. I’m confident we’ll see the names and faces of this year’s winners at the front of the industry in the near future.”

Julian Gratton, senior vice-president brand, marketing and content at Wejo, said: “Throughout Two + Two we witnessed outstanding collaboration between students and professionals.

“The creative ideas and pitches amazed us with their intelligent and creative approaches and the students embraced our Smart Mobility for Good positioning.

“The winning team got to the heart of the human benefits that Wejo can deliver now and in the future.”

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