Dragons’ Den review: PlayAway case secure Duncan Bannatyne

There's no point creating a product that is already in the market, so Brian O'Reilly and PlayAway case founder Jo Kerley decided to innovate products that bring something different to the table. 


We’re all helpless when it comes to leaving the TV on or forgetting to turn off the light switch. Brian O’Reilly has created energyEGG, a product that reduces your energy bills and controls your appliances using motion technology. It can already be found in retailers such as John Lewis, but Peter Jones was critical of O’Reilly’s pitch and his inability to explain the products uses. The cracks begun to show in energyEGG’s balance sheet, with the inventor admitting he’s skint and will run out of money in four months. Piers Linney gave the Scottish businessman a lifeline when he offered £50,000 for 30% stake in the brand. 

Karisma Kidz

Erika Brodnock, CEO of Karisma Kidz and mum of five, has created a range of products on the back of being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This spurred Brodnock to turn her life around and she created Karisma Kidz, an interactive brand that stimulates children’s minds. Inspiring stories are always accepted in the den, but the London-based entrepreneur’s use of computers was criticised by Duncan Bannatyne and Kelly Hoppen. Jones hailed the brand but couldn’t justify parting with £60,000 and Karisma Kidz left with nothing. 


The Dragon’s were set for a surprise when former royal marine Simon Weatherall pitched his Glowfaster brand. A clothing range marketed at fitness fanatics, Weatherall has ambitions to reduce the number of runners killed on UK roads. The glow-in-the-dark jackets were no doubt eye-catching, but the glow began to fade on Weatherall’s pitch when dragon after dragon declared out, and Glowfaster left the den without investment. 

PlayAway case

Keeping your children occupied when travelling can be stressful the best of times, so Jo Kerley came up with PlayAway case, a product to keep children happy. Bannatyne unearthed some financial baggage when Kerley announced her debts and it didn't get much when the other four Dragons refused to invest. With just Bannatyne remaining, Keyley got what she came for when the dragon offered £60,000 for a 35% return of the business.

What did we learn this week?

  • Be unique
  • Add humour to your pitch
  • There's no point creating a product if you can't make it better.

Hero of the week

Jo Kerley has created a product and a brand, with the help of friends of family, and secured Duncan Bannatyne on-board despite criticism from the other dragon's. 

Villain of the week

Peter Jones was in no mood to invest in this episode, criticising the entrepreneurs that dared to seek investment. We prefer the nice Jones.  

For more on Dragons' Den, check out our five favourite businesses from the show and the dragons' Den infographic.

Dragons Den infographic Smarta



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