Dragons’ Den: An icy start to a triumphant track

Dragons' Den

Some potential, but not enough – a common feeling for the majority of pitches that graced our screens tonight. From partying in igloos to scooping up poop, you can never predict what will walk into the den and certainly not this week.

First to meet the Dragons this week was Danny, with his igloo disco event business – all you need, under one igloo roof: a dj, lights and music. He was asking for £80,000 for a 20 per cent equity stake.

His experience in event management, dj-ing and the general party industry was in no way to be faulted, likewise with his precise preparation on the figures associated with his business. It’s a shame the Dragons weren’t showing much appreciation for the effort of his presentation as they squeezed into this scaled down version of his igloo event and stood frozen like mere penguins attempting to keep warm.

As the Dragons waddled out, Danny was faced with interrogative questions on figures and rightly so. Ironically, even though his knowledge of the numbers in his business were spot on, the actual management of those within the business was quite frankly, a bit of a shambles.

Danny’s financial side of the business with a lack of promising cash flow, quickly turned a potentially invest-able business, icy cold.

Truth be told, the Dragons didn’t warm to the idea of investment and consequently froze themselves out of the opportunity.

‘Not Dogs’ – an award-winning meat-free, fast-food brand served up in the den by founders, Katie and Jane, who were asking for a £75,000 investment in exchange for a 15 per cent equity stake. The business partners are planning their first opening of a new restaurant in Birmingham, completely vegetarian.

From a personal perspective, I thought the idea of a variety of meat-free fast-food was great. There are so many people I know, including my own mum, who do not eat meat and when out and about, finding the perfect eating place to suit everyone’s taste buds can be tricky.

Dragons eagerly praised the taste of the Not Dogs, stating that even meat eaters may not find the food distasteful.

Even though the Dragons’ palate were ignited, the idea of a stand alone business didn’t whet their appetite.

Dragons' DenIf you didn’t think they were going round in circles already by this point, after an unsuccessful hula hooping pitch swivelled into a lack of interest, the Dragons were quick to take advantage of the hoops left on display. One Dragon in particular set the bar and took the others for a spin by proudly outperforming her rival Dragons. Deborah clearly has an interesting pastime.

Dogs vs Dragons as John with his business ‘Handiscoop’ – a practical device to pick up your dog’s poop, was next into the den.

Asking for an investment of £45,000 for a 15 per cent share in his business, this long-handled pooper scooper was not appealing to the Dragons at all.

Nick in-particular breathed fire as he demonstrated how easy it is to pick up remains and dispose of it easily, without the use of the device but using something we have already – our own hands.

Once discovering that John doesn’t in fact own the patterns to his invention, nor know how many products needed to sell in order to secure his licence, the business didn’t reek potential.

Touker claiming the product to be ‘practical’ but presenting harsh reality to John, stating that he is merely ‘dreaming’ pretty much concluded the pitch’s fate.

After literally being shown his exit, John left empty handed and was unable to pick up from the mess he’d made.

Lastly, attempting to track down a hefty investment of £100,000 were business partners, Vincent and Raj. Offering an 8 per cent stake in their business, they presented a tracking software that allows you to locate your lost valuables through an app.

If you’re forgetful and are quite a frequent ‘looser’ of your possessions, this product would be your best friend.

The average amount of time spent looking for misplaced items a day is 10 minutes but I’m pretty sure mine is much longer, whether that be my keys, phone, purse or even television remote – I’m constantly guilty for loosing things!

I loved this idea, but can’t say I was too impressed with the uniqueness of it and neither were the Dragons. I know I’d seen very similar products being featured on Facebook before and online in general but apparently, this company was different – a better and longer lasting battery and a more reliable software.

Despite Peter claiming the idea around tracking tagging being ‘so old’ he proposed an offer to the tech duo. All Dragons agreed that Peter’s global tech expertise was to be noted and by far the best Dragon to invest and consequently, he stood alone in his offer.

Willing to hand over the full asking price of £100,000 but for 30 per cent, nearly four times the equity stake Vincent and Raj were offering, Peter caused a need for discussion between the unsure business partners, especially as this would mean they would only get 5 per cent more each than Peter would be earning.

After many attempts at negotiating a lower equity stake, Peter stuck to his word and couldn’t bring himself to search for a lower percentage share.

With a little push of enthusiasm and advice from Peter’s fellow Dragons, the pair made a game-changing decision to accept Peter’s offer and were ready to let the business track down success.