Theo Paphitis praised the quality of the presentations at the 2015 Premier League Enterprise Challenge Final, saying that they were comparable to those he had witnessed on "Dragons' Den".
The Blackpool FC Community Trust's BTEC Group won this year's final in London but Paphitis, who was a star "dragon" on the successful BBC series entrepreneur programme, was impressed by the overall standard of the seven finalists, saying that some would have tempted the judges to have invested their money.
Teams representing seven Premier League and Football League clubs pitched their ideas, proposals and financial forecasts in response to a brief set by Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore.
"It was an incredibly high standard, so the judging was incredibly difficult," Paphitis said "we got it down to two teams and there was some soul searching at the end to decide which of the two was going to be the winner. We analysed it and we got to the right decision.
"What is very clear with all of these youngsters is that they have got it. It's in them. They wouldn't be here otherwise. Their mindset, their thinking is entrepreneurial and that's what shone today, through all of them.
"Schoolkids or no schoolkids, I treated them no different. There is no question that some of these presentations would be comparable to some of the people we get on 'Dragon's Den'. A couple of these might have got those Dragons to put their hands in their pockets and say 'I'm in'."