Enterprising students from Kilwinning Academy have demonstrated their business acumen by scooping £1,000 at the final of The Sir Tom Hunter Challenge.

The team, who came joint fourth place in the event, will now use the cash to invest in their business.

The Dragons’ Den style competition saw pupils from across Ayrshire come up with an original idea for a product, innovation or business, before preparing a business plan to present to the panel of judges during a five-minute slot.

The Kilwinning team devised ‘The Trio’ – a unique multifunctional umbrella which is both environmentally-friendly and made from recycled materials, featuring solar lights and bright fluorescent colours to enable people to be seen in the dark.

The idea is that this large umbrella can be used for camping, music festivals, while fishing or as a picnic shelter.

Teams from both Kilwinning and Largs academies saw off groups from Ardrossan, St Matthew’s and Garnock academies at the North Ayrshire semi-final held at Kilwinning Academy recently, before moving on to the final on Wednesday, June 12, at Marathon House, Dundonald, where they competed against teams from East and South Ayrshire.

Judges at the final this year included Sir Tom Hunter, Willie Mackie of Mackie Consulting, Evelyn McDonald of Scottish Edge and David Christian of West Coast Accelerator.

Largs Academy and Doon Academy from Dalmellington took joint top spot on the day.

Councillor John Bell, Cabinet Member for Education and Youth Employment, said: “We would like to congratulate all of the North Ayrshire schools who participated throughout this fantastic event.”

Kilwinning Academy Head Teacher Tim Swan said: “I am so proud of our young entrepreneurs and their fantastic umbrella. To finish fourth equal in Ayrshire was a great outcome. Well done to everyone involved.”