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Dragons’ Den 2011

An open competitive investment reality show which provides an opportunity to budding entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas to venture capitalists is expected to be relaunched by BBC 2 in spring in United Kingdom.

The future of five multi- millionaires’ i.e. James Caan, Theo Paphitis, Peter Jones, Duncan Bannatyne and Deborah Meaden, who have been dragon-judges of the den, remains uncertain. The BBC spokesperson refused to comment on the matter saying it is too early to respond on the reality series scheduled in 2011.

However the buzz is three of the five judges might be axed to give young, snappy and zappy look to the show. The revamped format the producers say may include James Simpson, 28 year old business achiever from Surrey to bring in glamour to the show.

As the contestants are mostly young men and women the producers argue, a change in format is necessary to keep up with times. Dragon Den 2011 may also feature more woman contestants as well as more multimillionaire woman dragons.

The success of Dragons’ Den can be judged from the fact that since inception the show has been able to propel many young men and women not only win the venture capital from the five judge panel but also to become millionaires themselves.

Dragons’ Den, U.K which has exclusive rights to the show's format from its Japanese producers is a remake of the cult Japanese show which has now spread to many parts of the world including post-communist European countries. However to many BBC2’s reality television is an inspiration for its content and pitches.

In the parlance of the reality show, pitches means three minutes that a contestant gets to convince the dragons about their venture, its possibilities and investments required it to succeed. In those moments anything can happen, some cry, some smile, some laugh, some cringe, some get angry and only the plucky entrepreneur succeeds to go in for further questioning by the five multimillionaires which can 15 minutes to two hours. Later one among the dragons or their combination, funds the contestants.

This equity investment show has seen many bizarre business ideas coming to reality. The ideas such as conjoined dancing shoes to networking of recipes have not only received funds but have succeeded in becoming international brands. This is a fascinating journey of Dragons’ Den which inspires many to take a chance and apply for them as contestant in next session.

The BBC websites states: Applications are currently closed. If Dragons' Den returns for another season, applications will open in spring, 2011. You can only anticipate the eagerness of the contestants to participate in the show and the aura surrounding it.

Royal Holloway Entrepreneurs of University of London conducted an idea pitching competition based on the BBC show for its students. The students are encouraged to pitch their ideas in the areas such as social enterprises, charities or individual projects to judge their eligibility for investments.

The Dragon Den’s signature tune called Put Yer Money Where Yer Mouth Is has been on lips of many contenders who want to excel in coming session. One report suggests that ITunes Company has been receiving many requests for download of this inspirational tune to venturesome from those who want to pitch in next time.

Some institutions in UK are holding workshops to train the contestants to hone their skills in presentation or pitching. They call the programme, how to pitch professionally? The extent to which young people, especially after economic meltdown, in the west is looking forward to Dragons’ Den can be gauged from the response to this workshop. The participants in these seminars are usually upwardly mobile who has only one question on their mind, that is, how do I win? The winning requires, many experts who address such gatherings argue, that you have to be innovative, find a real time solution to an intractable problem and above all the investor must receive honorable returns on investment.

Meanwhile as the Dragons’ Den 2011 gets ready for revamp the question that many ask is what are the five millionaires are up to during interregnum. There is two kinds of activities which the dragons do after the deal has been finalized with the winners who have to undergo rather detailed due diligence.

Firstly, follow up on the winners who have received equity from the one or more than one investors. They constantly monitor and pursue the status of the venture by travelling different parts of the Britain.

During the course of their cross country visits the five achievers also find time to visit those whom they failed in the pitching. Do they have any potential to try all over again or do they need any sound advice to survive their ventures is also analyzed.

The BBC 2 also runs a series on the lives of the dragons themselves to look behind their multimillion empires and how they are as human beings and how they run their empires which inspire the contestants to emulate the lives of these personalities.

Dragons’ Den also goes to check its success stories such as Deborah Meaden‘s investment in Face book for foodies and My Dish, Duncan Bannantyne's stage-school investment, Razzamatazz, James Caan's faith in Motor mouse and Theo ‘s shoe business Slinks. Each of this restores faith of the audience in the show, not just for its reel performances but also for its real life follow up which matters so much in financial dealings.

More than 110 companies in United Kingdom have so far received the equity from the five venturesome achievers till date and most of them have been successful ventures. As the UK gets ready for yet another television edition of Dragons’ Den, Radio1’s Dominic Byrne, Shaf Rasul and Julie Mever have continued to conduct their online BBC programme which is relayed every Wednesday from 9.30 to 10 p.m.

The prospective entrepreneur can pitch for not more than £50,000 and as in television show he must get all the money or no money at all. In this instance, the candidates have to provide a three-minute raw pitch, before being allowed participates in the show. As the audience eagerly awaits the relaunch, the industry expects a record number of investments from the dragons adopting the same no-nonsense business acumen, which will further boost the nation’s entrepreneurial spirit.