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Dragons' Den digest - Week 10

September 13, 2010 by Anna Mullinder

If you missed last week's, catch up here and below you will find the highlights of episode eight.

Quote of the Episode: "I have a horrible feeling that you don't know how to make a profit." Deborah Meaden

Idea 1
Product:
Abiie Buggy (My Babiie Ltd) – buggy with an incorporated changing table.
Investment sought: £100,000 for 10 per cent equity
Handling: Straightforward pitch, stuck to the basic facts. Adam is clearly ambitious, and confident when answering questions about his turnover. Says he owns the company but when questioned it is revealed that Ken, who he works with in the USA, owns the designs and has worldwide distribution rights while Adam has UK rights on a three-year contract providing he meets sales targets. The Dragons aren't impressed by this. Before declaring himself out, Peter Jones sums it up by saying: "I don't believe in you".
Outcome: No investment.
Verdict: A promising start but things got more and more confusing after the questioning started.

Idea 2
Product:
GaBoom – online user-to-user video game exchange.
Investment sought: £60,000 for 11 per cent equity
Handling: Confident, calm, well-rehearsed pitch. She handles questioning well and with a smile. Claims her website provides faster exact search results than any other website, which Duncan points out is because it's the only site of its type! Peter Jones highlights a flaw in her business: physically handling every game will be very costly, especially as the business expands. The Dragons think she's a very promising entrepreneur and are confident she'll have a successful future.
Outcome: No investment but a potential job offer from Peter Jones.
Verdict: A confident pitch and a promising young entrepreneuer.

Idea 3
Product:
Media Displays – mobile advertising unit.
Investment sought:
£80,000 for 25 per cent equity
Handling:
Strong, polished presentation. Theo Paphitis encourages him to be honest about working from his home office and employing his son. Answers questions clearly and confidently until he shares a heated exchange with Deborah Meaden about whether the business is profitable. Theo points out that his business model as it stands doesn't work and declares himself out. James Caan isn't sure about the business but likes Ian Tayor, the entrepreneur, and believes that he could make it work so makes him an offer.
Outcome:
£80,000 for 45 per cent of the business (this amount will drop if certain targets are met).
Verdict: A good result after some tricky questioning from the other Dragons.

What did you think of the episode?

Related articles:

Dragons' Den digest - Week 9

September 07, 2010 by Cat Arnold

If you missed last week's, catch up here and below you will find the highlights of episode eight.

Quote of the Episode: "I’ve just got to get my chequebook." Theo Paphitis

Idea 1
Product:
Sweat Sportz - a plastic vest worn during exercise to allow the user to sweat more and therefore lose weight at a faster pace.
Investment sought: £100,000 for 10 per cent equity.
Handling: A confident start, but nerves got to them a little bit towards the end of the pitch. The Dragons seemed impressed at first but concerns were raised over the price of the product being too high for a disposable item. They seemed confident about their figures but then were caught out by James Caan when he asked them about their profit forecasts. Theo Paphitis and Duncan Bannatyne raised concerns that the vest was not an innovative idea and that the majority of people would not use it.
Outcome: No investment.
Verdict: A confident start but fell down when it came to the numbers. The product seemed too niche for the mass market and was not an innovation.

Idea 2
Product:
Content and Calm (Traykit) - An innovative children's bag which folds out into a tray to be used on long journeys.
Investment sought: £80,000 for ten per cent equity.
Handling: A very confident and passionate pitch. She knew her product and market well and demonstrated excellent knowledge of the financial situation of her company. She impressed the Dragons with the news that she has been approached by several large retailers. Duncan Bannatyne wondered why she needed an investment, as the company seemed to be doing very well already. Peter Jones went straight in with an offer of the full amount for 25 per cent, but was quickly undercut by James Caan who offered the same amount for 15 per cent equity. After some negotiation, Peter Jones suggested he joined forces with Deborah Meaden and they offered to make the investment for 12.5 per cent equity each.
Outcome: Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden - full £80,000 for 25 per cent equity.
Verdict: Excellent product and pitch, she knew her stuff and it showed. She managed to keep cool under pressure and went away with a good deal.

Idea 3
Product:
TailorMade - 3D body scanning technology which takes measurements for bespoke handmade suits.
Investment sought: £75,000 for ten per cent equity.
Handling:  An interesting start to the pitch with a demonstration of the 3D scanner, followed by a confident presentation of his company. The Dragons initially seem impressed with the technology and the speed with which it works.  However Theo Paphitis felt the product was over-engineered and that it fixed a problem that didn't exist. Peter Jones added that the cost of installing the technology was so high, few tailors would be able to justify the expense. 
Outcome: No investment.
Verdict: A good idea but over-engineered and expensive, this product solves a problem that doesn’t need to be fixed.

Idea 4
Product:
Proppa - a website that sells accessories for vans, motorhomes, pickup trucks, etc.
Investment sought: £50,000 for five per cent equity.
Handling: An impressive and honest pitch, where he clearly demonstrated his knowledge of the financial side of his business. James Caan questioned his financials and soon uncovered that he had a large bank debt. Deborah Meaden became frustrated and demanded to know why he borrowed so much money from the bank. Not satisfied with his response, Deborah declared herself out. Duncan Bannatyne thought differently and offered the full amount for 20 per cent equity. Peter Jones then came in with another offer, the full amount but for 25 per cent, claiming he was worth more due to his online expertise.
Outcome: Duncan Banntyne - £50,000 for 20 per cent equity.
Verdict: A good business opportunity with potential to make money, and an honest pitch helped him gain credibility with the Dragons.

What did you think of the episode?

Related articles:

Dragons' Den digest - Week 8

August 31, 2010 by Anna Mullinder

If you missed last week's, catch up here and below you will find the highlights of episode seven.

Quote of the Episode: "I think you are a product genius." Peter Jones

Idea 1
Product:
Yum Yums – collectible series of books to encourage children to eat healthily.
Investment sought: £100,000 for 20 per cent equity.
Handling: The Dragons didn't look impressed with the dancing fruit that opened the pitch. The company had a good deal with Borders but it went into administration. Peter Jones was disappointed with the stories and the lessons they teach to young children and told them to go back to the drawing board with the whole product. Duncan Bannatyne noticed spelling/grammar errors in the books. Deborah Meaden encouraged them to sell what stock they have left and not to invest any more money.
Outcome: No investment.
Verdict: Lack of attention to detail in the books led to disappointment.

Idea 2
Product:
Valuemystuffnow.com – online antique valuations.
Investment sought: £100,000 for 20 per cent equity.
Handling: Confident pitch but gave over-complicated answers to the Dragons' questions. Peter Jones questioned his figures, but Patrick answered confidently. After three of the Dragons declared themselves out, Theo Paphitis explained that he could see the potential of the buiness and thought that there would be further demand for his services. He offered £50,000 for 20 per cent equity and Deborah Meaden matched it.
Outcome: Patrick tried to negotiate down the equity but failed. He accepted their offer of £100,000 for 40 per cent equity. 
Verdict: As James Caan said: "What a charming man."  

Idea 3
Product:
Odourbuster – toilet odour extractor system.
Investment sought: £75,000 for 15 per cent equity
Handling: Confident, well-rehearsed pitch. Duncan Bannatyne couldn't see a need for the product and claimed he'd never had any complaints about bad smelling toilets in his health clubs, hotels or spas. They changed their tack after this, although their original aim was to remove bad smells, the product also complies with building regulations and removes the need for extractor fans. They struggled to convince the Dragons that it was an investment on which they could make a return. 
Outcome: No investment.
Verdict: A confident pitch but while the product met residential building regulations, it wouldn't work in cubicle rows in commercial premises without a solid wall.

Idea 4
Product:
Power8 Workshop – cordless power tool set.
Investment sought: £150,000 for 5 per cent equity
Handling: Strong pitch and an interesting product demonstration. The Dragons were very impressed by his product design but the complicated share ownership structure led to three Dragons declaring that they were out. However, Peter Jones saw that the real value was in the inventor and the products.
Outcome: Christopher accepted Peter Jones' and Duncan Bannatyne's offer of £150,000 for 30 per cent equity going down to 20 per cent once the investment is repaid.
Verdict: Nice to see a successful inventor in the Den.

What did you think of the episode?

Related articles:

If you missed last week's, catch up here and below you will find the highlights of episode seven.

Quote of the Episode: "Not all good ideas are money-making ideas." Theo Paphitis

Idea 1
Product:
Gift Card Converter – online marketplace for buying/selling gift cards.
Investment sought: £50,000 for 25 per cent equity.
Handling: Confident pitch. They want investment to increase their marketing efforts and develop the business further. Duncan Bannatyne doesn't think it will make any money while Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden questioned the legalities of the business.
Outcome: No investment.
Verdict: Confident pitch and confident at answering questions, but the Dragons were concerned about whether the business was actually legal. No deal.

Idea 2
Product:
Surviva Jak – foil jacket for walkers to help prevent hypothermia.
Investment sought: £75,000 for 30 per cent equity.
Handling: Good initial pitch but lost their confidence when Duncan Bannatyne questioned their financial calculations. The male Dragons interrogated them over their market research but Deborah defended them, saying she could see they had made mistakes but didn't understand why they were coming in for such harsh criticism.
Outcome: Deborah Meaden offers them £75,000 for 45 per cent equity, they try to barter it down to 40 per cent but she won't budge. They accept 45 per cent. 
Verdict: A rocky pitch, they struggled under questioning, but received a good investment.  

Idea 3
Product:
Citidogs – Dog Crèche.
Investment sought:  £75,000 for 20 per cent.
Handling: Starts out seeming like an investable idea. Duncan Bannatyne suggests they go away and work out their financial projections – they haven't evaluated the true cost of their business as they're not taking a salary and haven't registered for VAT.
Outcome: No investment.
Verdict: Started well but need to think through their finances in more detail.

Idea 4
Product:
The Wand Company – buttonless remote control that works on movement.
Investment sought: £200,000 for 10 per cent.
Handling: Theo Paphitis looked impressed by the demonstration of the magic wands – a special take on remote controls. Product cost £50 when sold directly to customers but just £10 to make. Confident with their figures even under questioning. They received offers from all the Dragons. 
Outcome: Accepted Duncan Bannatyne's offer of £200,000 on a sliding scale starting with 30 per cent share and going down to 10 per cent if they make £1.2 million.
Verdict: Strong pitch and product demonstration. Interesting to see all five Dragons make offers.

What did you think of the episode?

Related articles:

Dragons' Den digest - Week 6

August 17, 2010 by James Ainsworth

If you missed last week's, catch up here and below you will find the highlights of episode six.

Quote of the Episode: "Problem: Doesn't make money. Solution: I'm out." Peter Jones

Idea 1
Product:
Peel Engineering - The world's smallest production car with an electric engine
Investment sought: £80,000 for 10 per cent
Handling: They have an initial product but too many 'flights of fancy' revenue streams. Requires focus and a stronger business proposition.
Outcome: A hard fought negotiation saw them secure £80,000 for 30 per cent of the company. James Caan also secured himself one of every design of the vehicles.
Verdict: With a strong business partner and savvy investor, the pair could make a good go of their business.

Idea 2
Product:
Angel Cot - a multi-purpose baby unit.
Investment sought: £150,000 for 40 per cent
Handling: A relatively straight forward presentation suddenly descended into a ridiculous pitch with the second half being performed through the medium of song. Product was trying too hard to be all things.
Outcome: No investment
Verdict:  Pitch poor and then there was the singing...

Idea 3
Product:
Advanced Building Designs - A variety of products for the plumbing and building industry
Investment sought: £89,000 for 15 per cent
Handling: A beautifully choreographed presentation. They would be great on a TV shopping channel. The product was deemed unnecessary and 'fixing' a problem that did not exist.
Outcome: No investment
Verdict: James Caan said, "You are just going to burn my money"

Idea 4
Product:
Funky Moves - Interactive play equipment
Investment sought: £120,000 for 20 per cent
Handling: Set the cat amongst the pigeons revealing costs for tooling to create more stock and disclosing that he had received £140,000 in Government grants to establish the product. Some Dragons were well and truly riled. Duncan threatened to go offshore. 
Outcome: A joint investment from Theo and Peter saw Funky Moves give away 50 per cent of his business in order to secure £120,000
Verdict: Once Peter Jones saw the bigger picture, the investment was always going to be forthcoming.

What did you think of the episode?

Related articles:

Dragons' Den digest - Week 5

August 10, 2010 by James Ainsworth

Week 5 of Dragons' Den signals the halfway mark in the current series.

If you missed last week's, catch up here and below you will find the highlights of episode five.

Quote of the Episode: I never used to use salt until three years ago. Then I discovered rock salt” Duncan Bannatyne

Idea 1
Product:
Black Nut Iberian Pig Feed - Manufacture of pig feed for rare species of pig
Investment sought: £100,000 for 20 per cent
Handling: Handled questions well but his answers were his undoing. Pitched as 'Organic' when it was not.
Outcome: No investment.
Verdict: Beyond the bizarre idea, this is also a weak business plan and more of a whim.

Idea 2
Product:
Tree of Knowledge - Educational play resources
Investment sought: £100,000 for 10 per cent
Handling: Educational products often do well in the Den. Nice genuine and down-to-earth pitch but didn't do enough to convince more than one Dragon wholeheartedly to invest.
Outcome: Peter Jones offered £50,000 for 20 per cent. No Dragon would match his offer and Dragons' Den rules require full value to be met for an investment.
Verdict: Good pitch but fell just short of being a 'Wow' product.

Idea 3
Product:
Zigo - A combined buggy and bike invention
Investment sought: £225,000 for 6 per cent
Handling: Theo was shocked by the valuation of the business. The owners said this was due to the $400,000 invested into the business three years previously and further questioning revealed the Dragons' investment would be to cover a loss this financial year.
Outcome: No investment.
Verdict: Peter Jones saw the bigger picture. The product design, although aesthetically pleasing, was not practical.

Idea 4
Product:
WedgeWelly - Stylish wellies with heels for festivals
Investment sought: £65,000 for 20 per cent
Handling: Name-dropped a few high street retailers and high-end fashion names to lure the Dragons. A weak grasp of their figures and need some astute business direction but they have a great product.
Outcome: James Caan offered the full asking price. Deborah offered the full amount but sought an additional 30 per cent. Theo offered the same and on the same terms as Deborah. WedgeWelly went for their Dragon of choice over retaining company stake: in the end they negotiated hard to get Theo down to 22.5 per cent. Theo countered with 25 per cent.
Verdict: Fun fashion product and a great deal secured for the business.

What did you think of the episode?

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