Dragons in the Den
One of my favorite TV shows returned to the BBC a couple of weeks ago with the added spice of two new Dragons to replace Theo and the other one I didn’t like, sorry Hilary! I was absolutely fascinated and intrigued about how both Piers and Kelly would handle being thrust into the Den with the old guards Peter, Duncan and Deborah. The result was one of pure viewing delight as they more than held their own and made some quite interesting and bold views known to the other Dragons.
I have recently read a blog from my friend Jaki who wrote about her love for Big Brother and how it filled a part of her life that may not be everyone else’s cup of tea, Dragons Den is my Big Brother. I’m not going to start a debate with others who dislike it and tell them they’re talking rubbish, the point of this blog is to discuss my obvious likes and total frustrations with what I’ve seen so far in the opening two episodes.
With those not familiar to the show, Dragons Den gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their businesses to the Dragons, with the view of securing investment from them in order to help take their businesses forward further. The Dragons are five self made business experts who have personal wealths that they have accrued through their business knowledge and expertise. The entrepreneur will make a pitch which lasts around 3 minutes and then the Dragons will grill them over the facts, figures and decide if there is potential of a return that will justify their investment in the business. The concept is brilliant and it makes me squeal and cringe inside when the pitches go horribly wrong. On the flip side it’s totally awesome and high five moments across our sofa when a pure brilliant gem of a business succeeds.
The Chocolate Teapot is something that I’m awarding to the idea or moment that generated the biggest disaster and cringe worthy pitch. The went to the guy who gave the promise of a hand crafted case which could be used with your tablet computer. The pitch was presentable and the guy was confident with a humble side to him. He brought on with him someone who demonstrated the case being made by hand and whittled with the finest wood available. The detail promised to be fine and the development potential of the product clear. He handed each Dragon a completed product and boldly claimed he’d sold lots and nobody had ever complained about them. It’s at this moment I turned to my partner and said, “I bet one of them has an iPad” it was at this moment Peter grabs Piers Tablet. What then followed was pure TV cringe, the iPad slipped out and didn’t fit! Peter was then corrected and shown the correct way to clip it in, maybe a savior had appeared and this pitch was saved? Nope it still slipped out! Pure disgust from the Dragons and all the Entrepreneur could utter was, “oh that’s a slight item defect, it can be worked on!” Peter totally lambasted him and questioned his credibility in only the way the not so Gentle Giant could! Fantastic!
The Glass Hammer award is awarded to the Entrepreneur who pitched a product that looked useless but somehow managed to secure an Investment with it. Now after reading the interview from Kelly Hoppen it didn’t surprise me when she invested with Deborah for the mobile mat that you could exercise on. She has made it clear that she would rather invest in people she likes and not ones who necessarily have the best ideas. This rules this lucky lady out who despite Duncan slating her, got £60k from the two female Dragons.
This award has been awarded to the young lad who came out and presented a ready made meal that had the promise of no artificial ingredients. His pitch was stumbled and there was a quite hilarious moment where Kelly thought she may have an allergic reaction to the contents of it. Despite Deborah’s best attempts to find papers to back his claims, it transpired he’d said the wrong ingredient! Duncan had almost topped himself, Piers was bored, Kelly relieved she didn’t have a fit and Deborah out! Peter quipped at the beginning that his meal tasted clumpy and took longer than he stated even hurrying him along in an impatient manner at the start of his pitch. This is when the pure shock and disbelief of the Den occurred, Peter made an offer and gave him the investment because he loves his dream and wanted to help him. I have images of Peter 6ft 8 and let’s call him Dan 5ft 10 huddled around a pan on a hob creating ready meals together! Absolute shock and stunned silence followed.
Finally the Golden Egg award goes to the most successful and polished pitch in the Den. This is also coupled with the product and business and the Entrepreneur. Texan Joe Walters came into the Den with a musical introduction and then gave the most calm and collective pitch I’d seen in a while. He knew his market, knew the market share currently available and all with a graveled Texan accent. He wore a Cowboy Hat and a striking outfit, he was just missing the gun holster and sheriff star. After the pitch when grilled by Deborah, he revealed he already had backing from Brew Dog and the £37.5k he required was to match their investment. He then silenced her with a written order for 10,000 units at £1.75 a piece, not a bad thing to have folded up in your back pocket!
The pitch was brilliant and his apparent laid back chilled almost drug induced performance would have given the impression he didn’t care. In fact it was the complete opposite, he knew he had a great choice of product and one that could eat into the 90% market share enjoyed by the market leader of Beef Jerky. This resulted in 4 offers of investment and Peter Jones offering more than what was requested. This tactic gave him the upper hand and when he asked for 25% and not the 22% Joe wanted to offer, Joe quickly quipped how about 23% as I still want a controlling stake of my business. Peter replied by saying “I know what you are doing, ok how about 24%!” Fantastic drama and a lovely conclusion to the show. Well done Texan Joe, you were an absolute delight! This is why I love Dragons Den.
Posted on August 21, 2013, in Television and tagged BBC2, Deborah Meaden, Dragons Den, Duncan Bannatyne, Entrepreneur, Kelly Hoppen, Peter Jones, Piers Linney, Television. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.