Entrepreneurs get the opportunity to pitch their business idea to the dragons at Dragons’ Den, to secure a financial investment from anyone of them or more than one dragons. The panels at the Dragons’ Den or otherwise known as the dragons are successful rich venture capitalists that are in the search for investing their money in return for percentage of share of equity in the future profits and business.
Dragons’ Den attained success ever since it was first aired in the year 2005. The presenters of Dragons’ Den initially were Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones, Rachel Elnaugh, Doug Richard and Simon Woodroffe. Simon Woodroffe was later on replaced by Theo Paphitis post the first series of the show. Rachel Elnaugh was replaced by Deborah Meadan post the second series of Dragons’ Den and Dough Richard was replaced by Richard Farleigh in the third and fourth series who James Caan replaced later on.
Although a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs came in to the Dragons’ Den in the last five years, with a hope to make it big, however, only a few have succeeded in winning over the dragons, not just securing investments but also gaining some valuable advice. There have been quiet a few strong Dragons’ Den successes. A lot of Dragons’ Den success stories and winning ideas have today made their mark in the world of business and now, we are seeing the developing of an altogether a new business imperium, which is ensured by the dragons at the Dragons’ Den and made firmer by the huge publicity that Dragons’ Den offers.
One of the famous Dragons’ Den successes has been the jerk chicken sauce called the ‘Reggae Reggae Sauce’ by the singer Levi Roots. Levi had been selling the sauce successfully at the festival for Notting Hill for the fifteen years but coming to Dragons’ Den, and with the help of secured investment from Richard Farleigh and Peter Jones the demand for Levi’s sauce simply folded many times. Levi’s pitched for an investment of £50,000 for a stake of 20% equity, but he successfully managed to secure the amount, but for a total equity of 40% with the two dragons. Reggae Reggae Sauce now is available at various supermarkets across the UK and is definitely one of the best Dragons’ Den success stories.
Imran Hakim was the man who came to the Dragons’ Den with an idea of a modern day bear, playing media files, a concept he called, iTeddy. iTeddy had successful sale from the year 2007 and received 2nd spot during Christmas. This Dragons’ Den success story was accompanied by deals for distribution that Hakim secured with about 40 countries world wide.
This Dragons’ Den success story now has iTeddies in the market, which can be easily found at all the big toy shops across the UK and also have successfully sold in America and has grabbed a great deal with one of Americas toy giants.
Imran Hakim had asked for an amount of £140,000 from the dragons at the Dragons’ Den for a 15% stake in equity, however, he did manage to secure the amount from Theo Paphitis and Peter Jones for a total stake of 40%.
Ray Smith had a shaky start at the Dragons’ Den with his concept of Magic Pizza, which is a device to ensure that pizzas cooked in the microwave don’t get soggy and sloppy in the middle of the base. His idea was taken up by dragons Theo Paphitis and Peter Jones, to add to the happiness and delight of many pizza lovers across the country. Since then, Ray’s Dragon’ Den success story has been put up to Dragons’ Dens success stories gallery with his unique, and creative product that has been successfully selling out to mums, students and single men throughout UK.
Sara Lu entered the Dragons’ Den with the concept of Youdoodolls. These dolls have had successful sales in the Christmas of 2007 and the organization later teamed up with Pepe Jeans to accelerate the increasing style of personalisation.
In the Dragons’ Den, Deborah showed her worries regarding the products’ longevity and wanted to extend the brand somehow.
Youdoo dolls got an order from a high street chain in Great Britain, and the brand is still expanding and flourishing and the team at Youdoo dolls has been creating dolls with a lot many additional features, in a hope to break in to the US market and Japan.
Sarah had asked for an investment amount of £35,000 in return for a 20% stake in the company. She did manage to secure that amount at the Dragons’ Den from Deborah, with equity of 45%.
Another one of Dragons’ Den successes was the Ice Blading boots that Theo Phaphitis made an investment in. Theo was quiet pleased with the concept of these nice and sophisticated kind inline skates that allow one to move around like skating on ice but minus the ice. The Ice Blading boots were launched in the year 2009.
Denise came in at Dragons’ Den with a group of singing kids, wanting to open up a chain of singing, drama and dance schools for children called Razzamataz.
When the panel at the Dragons’ Den asked Denise about why she needed £50,000 for the same, the answer did not impress most of the panel and they started backing out. But the dragon Duncan piped up to everyone’s amazement. And this was for the first time in the history of Dragons’ Den that an entrepreneur went with the amount and the equity that he had initially offered to the panel, without any haggling, making it one of the most amazing Dragons’ Den successes.
Dragons’ Den is definitely more than just a reality show series. Dragons’ Den success stories are an example as to how the show has managed to shape up UK’s business sector and provides many aspiring enterprisers with the chance to live their dreams and see how the biggies in the industry work. For people who have the fire in them and a great business concept which has been thoroughly researched and planned, convincing the dragons at the Dragons’ Den hence would not be a scary job anymore.