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Dare you enter the Fox's Lair?


At DMU, we don’t expect students to simply study business – many of our students are already running their own companies before they graduate.

And our Business School helps support the entrepreneurs of the future by providing original ways to develop your business skills.

Fox’s Lair is the only scheme of its kind in the country to develop business skills in an accredited first-year module.

Student entrepreneurs come up with a business idea and research it, crafting their pitch to make to real-life business people from a range of industries.

You can develop and practise creative ideas, business awareness and communication skills – all of which are of vital importance for employability in today's dynamic environment.

The competition is open to students studying the following subjects:

Pitch perfect - the winners so far

'Entering the Fox's Lair prepared me for career with multi-national business'

DMU celebrates 10 years of students entering the Fox's Lair to pitch their business ideas

App's the way to do it! Digital team take top spot at Fox's Lair 2015

Sports fans outfox fellow students to take top business prize

Students pitch the pour-fect business idea

The judges

Bianca Holman
Go-getter Bianca is head of Young People’s Programmes at The Money Charity. Previously she was helping to inspire businesses as a Thinking Engineer for Go MAD Thinking.

Phil Bateman
With decades of experience in banking, Phil is able to spot financial loopholes in business plans a mile off. He’s worked with Lloyds TSB since 1980 and specialises in the commercial banking sector.

Richard Jackson
International sales professional Richard founded Muzicall, a company that specialises in ringback tones for companies, allowing them to replace ringing with adverts and offers. He sold the company in 2014 and is now a mentor and business coach.

Barrie Pierpoint
With more than 25 years’ experience at chief executive and board level, Barrie has carved out a successful career as a management consultant and business advisor, known for his straight talking advice.

Danielle Gillett
Finance and corporate services director of EMB Group, a company created to help businesses grow working with UKTI and Government programmes. It has a £10million + turnover and works with Chamber of Commerce across the region.

Ian Elliot
Ian is the financial director, company secretary and a director of Nicholls Colton, which provides consultancy services to construction companies around the UK. Ian brings his shrewd business sense into the Lair

Tim Storer
Tim is a former stockbroker who has been MD of world-famous Pukka Pies, based in Syston since he was 26. The company has gone from strength to strength with annual sales edging the £50m mark.

Paul Phillips
Paul joined Enterprise car rental after graduation and has progressed through it management trainee programme to sales. He’s now moved over to the recruitment team and helps choose successful applicants for the company.

Nick Saalfeld
Journalist and serial entrepreneur Nick has three successful media businesses under his belt. He founded a financial website which was later sold for a seven-figure sum and has media clients including Microsoft, Coutts Bank and Lonely Planet.

Richard Cresswell
High-end interior design is the expertise of Richard Cresswell, who decorated the interiors of palaces and embassies in the Middle East before setting up his own company providing bespoke pieces for luxury hotels

Ian Davidson
After a career working with some of the largest food and drink brands in the world, including Weetabix, Alpen and Jacobs Creek, Ian moved into professional sport first as commercial manager with Leicestershire CCC and then Leicester Riders.

Sue Tilley
Sue turned an initial investment of £30 into a business with a £2.6million turnover when spotted a gap in the market for stylish workwear. She sold the business and is now LLEP Economic Growth and Investment Manager.

Femi Latif
Owner of Femi Boutique Beauticians, Femi began her career working for other people before striking out on her own. She now has an enviable list of clients and a team of fully-trained treatment staff.

Dawn Parker
With years in recruitment management, Dawn knows how important it is to have the right people on your team. She is now operations manager for HSBC, one of the world’s biggest financial groups.

Paul Hutchinson
Paul joined business advisors Go MAD Thinking after 20 years working for blue-chip companies, helping to establish businesses around the world. He is now director of digital for ThinkOn Global helping train the leaders of tomorrow.

Russell Copley
Management guru Russell knows all about networking. As chief executive of the East Midlands Incubation Network, it is his job to increase the number of successful start-ups in the region.

Stuart Hillston
DMU graduate Stuart’s career has taken him all over the world but he now coaches start-ups and scale-ups around the UK. He uses his background in software development and investment as a pundit on tech trends.

Jon Forster
DMU Business Studies graduate who has been IT director for a FTSE company before setting up an independent consulting company. He has handled multi-million-pound deals and led huge conferences.

Ian Simpson

David Simms
After a career in newspaper advertising, David is now publisher of the Leicester Mercury media group and regional publisher and MD of the Nottingham Post and Derby Telegraph. Passionate about business, he sits on the board of Leicestershire Young Enterprise.

Simon Tuckey
Former marketing director for McVities who has struck out on his own with his own “Proper” range, exclusively stocked in Waitrose. He invented Mini Cheddars which is now a £50million business in its own right.

Daniel Williams
Dan owns Whatever It Takes, a sports retail business. It is based in London and is opening branches in the US and Dubai this year.

Jonathan Popple
As managing director of a thriving insurance company, Jonathan knows what makes successful companies tick. He identified a gap in the market and the company has a premium income of £500,000 a year.

Tom Brookes
Marketing whizz Tom is another DMU graduate who puts the skills learned on his Business Management and Enterprise programme to good use. He is now director of an estate agency in Leeds.

Lollie Tuckey
Lollie started her marketing career with Courtalds textie giant before moving to the Far East, where she worked in media marketing roles before changing career and training as a psychologist. She is now a top business coach for corporate clients running her firm Hayfield Group.

Aatin Anadkat BEM
Owner of Leicester’s multi-award-winning boutique hotel and restaurant, Hotel Maiyango. He was awarded the British Empire Medal for supporting local producers, mentoring and spearheading community projects.

Mark Ransom
Globetrotter Mark has worked all over the world and is now chairman of Antone, which creates and installs displays for some of the biggest global brands.   

John Hayes
Owner of Champions Plc, a multi-million-pound media and publishing company in Leicestershire which offers PR, marketing, event management, celebrity management, and after dinner speakers. It publishes a regular glossy magazine and John has raised thousands for Rainbows hospice.

Andy Birchall
Financial whizz at Santander, Andy – a DMU Business graduate - is an expert in sales and banking. His experience in finance means he can grill students on their forecasts.

Inzar Haq
Known for his straight-talking business acumen, Inzar is a consultant for Insight, providing companies with advice and support to succeed

Alison Neate
Alison is managing partner of the Leicester Charnwood Court offices of Smith Partnership, dealing with high-value claims on behalf of businesses of all sizes.

Mark Smith
Sales expert Mark has been brand executive for BMW Sytner, launching its new electric vehicles. He is one of the company’s first BMW Product Genius, is responsible for corporate accounts and is winner of BMW’s UK sales award.

Adam Goodwin
Musical entrepreneur and creator of music-based social network Audiosplitter and passionate supporter of start-ups

DMU staff Simon Heaton, programme lead in marketing; Martyn Kendrick, head of postgraduate studies; Christos Kalantaridis, head of strategic management and marketing, Michael Marsden, Head of the School of Design and Sheree Peaple, principal lecturer in professional legal education, will also be on the panel.