Team Endurance from Emmanuel College, Gateshead, were named as first runners up for their innovative Miss Me Not Bear in the final of The Emmanuel School Foundation annual Business Game.

The high-tech interactive cuddly toy, designed to comfort children with recordings of their parents’ voices, saw team members Phoebe Tomlinson, 14, Megan Walker, 13, Eve Hetherington, 13, Nikita Sung, 13 and Abbie Stephenson, 13, presented with highly commended certificates by a Dragons’ Den-style panel.

More than 60 Year 9 students from the ESF sister schools – The King’s Academy, Middlesbrough, Trinity Academy, Doncaster, Bede Academy, Blyth and Emmanuel College – took part in the annual enterprise challenge, with the finals held at The King’s Academy.

Three teams from each school were tasked with developing a product or service from a choice of themes including a new piece of wearable technology, a new brand of chocolate, a new breakfast cereal, a new App, a product or service to benefit pets, a product or service to use on the beach or a product or service to help parents with a child under the age of three.

Emmanuel College’s other team, Platinum Plus, were highly commended for reaching the final four with their flexi drinks holder innovation.

Assistant head of sixth form and maths teacher at The King’s Academy Amy Williams, who organises the event each year, said: “We gave each of the Year 9 teams one week to come up with a product or service that would meet the challenge brief before asking them to present their ideas to the judges.

“They have all worked extremely hard and the judging panel were amazed with the levels of creativity and professionalism shown by all the teams.

“This competition gives the students a great opportunity to learn vital business skills in research and development, product design, production, marketing, website development and finance, as well as showing them the value of working together as a team.”

Competition winners Team Alpha, from The King’s Academy, were presented with a cheque for £400 for their smart phone based Find My Stuff application to help relocate lost items.

Team Unity from Bede Academy were also highly commended for their safety awareness alarm.

Magistrate Sue Fox, who judged the competition alongside chairman of Casper Shipping Kevin Shakeshift, online fashion retailer Jennifer Welford, Newcastle University electrical manager Rob Carson and careers advisor for Hartlepool Borough Council Phil Holbrook, said: “Team Endurance gave an excellent presentation of their product which they obviously believed in very strongly.

“It was an extremely hard decision to choose only one winner as all the innovations were so different and the pitches well thought-out and professional.

“The imagination and consideration that all the teams have put into the challenge has been quite staggering.”