Entrepreneurs supported by university

PUBLISHED: 12:38 21 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:33 26 October 2009

Eli Huttner and Rowland Omamor

Eli Huttner and Rowland Omamor

TWO shunned entrepreneurs who failed to impress five multi-millionaires to back their invention on TV are smiling again, after their university decided to put up the cash to support them. Eli Huttner and Rowland Omamor were set to appear on the hit BBC2 p

TWO shunned entrepreneurs who failed to impress five multi-millionaires to back their invention on TV are smiling again, after their university decided to put up the cash to support them.

Eli Huttner and Rowland Omamor were set to appear on the hit BBC2 programme Dragons' Den in 2006, where they aimed to get investment in their idea to use touch screen technology to order food from your table at restaurants.

Their efforts fell on deaf ears, however, and the entrepreneurs left the Den disappointed.

Not only that, but the former University of Hertfordshire students did not even get on TV, as their footage was left on the cutting room floor.

Now Eli is warning the Dragons to "watch this space" after receiving the backing they needed from the Hatfield-based university.

Eli, 32, and friend Rowland, 33, who met while studying for an MBA at the university's business school, came up with the idea of a touch screen device, which allows diners to select dishes from the menu at their table, which are then automatically sent through to the restaurants kitchen.

The five Dragons decided their product had a long way to go before it could merit investment, but the pair never gave up and now hope to make their gizmo a main stay of the modern day restaurant.

Eli said: "We have arranged to have the scheme piloted in a couple of restaurants in London and hope to confirm this soon.

"Dragons' Den is history now, we learned from it and have now moved on."

An agreement has now been reached with the university and the pair, which means the dream is becoming a reality.

Eli added: "The university have been absolutely amazing.

"It was better than just receiving cash like we would have done from Dragons' Den, because we have been able to use the facilities of the university, which has been such a great help.

"We are extremely thankful to them and they are the reason this is all possible."

Paul Findlay, head of knowledge transfer at the university, said: "The University of Hertfordshire is an ambitious and entrepreneurial university.

"We embed innovation and enterprise skills into the teaching of our students and this was an opportunity for us to support two graduates that share our vision."

The pair's product can be viewed at http://www.restaurantinnovations.co.uk/

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