If this episode was anything to go by, you'd think small businesses in the UK were in trouble. Entrepreneur after entrepreneur failed to impress the millionairres in the den or the viewers at home.
However, one business did us proud when he pitched his business that hopes to revolusionise the way we book taxis...
When David Solomons and Mike Edwards walked into the Den with toy babies, one wrapped in a polka dot blanket, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one left questioning what they were pitching. But the duo highlighted the issues new mums have when putting their young children to sleep and even added in a few facts too, with over 2,000 babies born every day in the UK alone. A big market then for the ambitious entrepreneurs, but Peter Jones didn’t seem too impressed, branding the product a ‘blanket with handles’. Kelly Hoppen had doubts about the products future with the bigger brands and Snugglebudl left without the £100,000 investment they had hoped for.
It’s important to have both the knowledge and enthusiasm for your brand, especially when your business model raises a few eyebrows. Dr Stuart Grice and Dr Samantha Decombel introduced themselves to the self-made millionaires standing next to a number of unusual looking canvases and picture frames. Combining science and art, they have created a range of art work that tells your own genetic story. Haven’t lost you have I? The uniqueness of their brand was for all to see, but the small market they appeal to, and the cost of the products, saw them fail to secure any investment.
Normally when the Dragons’ meet a Team GB athlete, it’s more likely to be at a swanky after party, but the third pitch of the evening saw the fivesome meet a professional in different circumstances. Lynwen Harrison, who has competed at the World Championships in the triathlon, and her business partner Rachel Smith pitched their sports recovery drink. ‘Our product rehydrates, repairs and refuels after exercise’ a persistent Harrison insisted but their pitch took a turn for the worse after the panel weren’t taken in by their business model. Though the product itself was great, the visual appeal and the branding, along with the lack of organic ingredients, saw the Dragons declare ‘I’m out’ in quick succession.
With statistics from the Family Planning Association showing that nearly half of pregnancies are unplanned, the need for a contraceptive solution is high on the agenda. Former investment banker Joe Nelson gave up his city job to create TheyFit, a brand that sells made-to-measure condoms direct to consumers. Males can choose the size of their condom online, with 95 different sizes to choose from, and get them delivered in private, so your best mate or dad never need to know. A ‘throughly energising’ experience, as Nelson claimed, but sadly he won’t be getting any investment from the Dragons who rubbished his £2million valuation of the business.
There’s a price comparison website for literally everything these days, with a click of a button and you can find the cheapest car insurance or hotel room. Well now, thanks to Minicabit and its founder Amer Hasan, you can compare cab quotes for long distance and local trips in over 30 cities. When Hasan failed to delcare information regarding corporate partners, it looked as if he'd need one of his taxis as soon as possible. Teaching us all a lesson, you can’t expect investment from successful entrepreneurs without being honest. But following Peter Jones’ grilling over the information, Hasan’s Dragons’ Den appearance got back on track.
Jones was the first Dragon to make start a bidding process when he offered the full £75,000, but for a 40% share of Hasan’s business, 15% more than he had hoped to give away. There’s a first for everything, and while a bidding process was in full swing, Hasan negotiated when Meaden and Jones made a joint offer but wanted 40% equity, something that the entrepreneur wasn’t too comfortable with. Inspiring us all, he managed to secure the duo in the boardroom, in exchange for 35% of his business.
If you don't ask, you don't get. Amer Hasan was a true inspiration with his confident pitch and knowledge of the industry. Minicabit is revolutionising the way you can book a mini cab and his confidence ensured he left the Den with investment for his business.
Joe Nelson was on a mission with his bespoke male contraceptive solution but his eagerness to secure investment backfired with the Dragons. Deborah Meaden was pretty tough with her words but his lack of industry knowledge was highlighted, and he couldn't secure investment.