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 all first-year Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation BA (Hons) students.

Pitch perfect - recent winners

Idea to tackle drink spiking wins students £1,000 prize

DMU students make their idea 'stick' to scoop the Fox's Lair title

Accommodation kit to get students UniReady wins Fox's Lair top prize

The judges


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.

Ian Elliot

Ian is the financial director, company secretary and 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.

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

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.

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.

Jon Forster

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

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 in his Business Management and Enterprise programme to good use. He is now director of an estate agency in Leeds.

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.  

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.

Jake Karia


Simon Heaton


David Tapp


Alex Morgan


Louisa Hayes


Paul Evans