Budding entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to multimillionaires. A former panel beater hopes to seal a deal with the Dragons with his innovative nail gel product.
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Tonight on Dragons' Den...
It's bordering on the ridiculous.
I disagree with him.
You've come in, you said "This is quicker than anything else."
And I know it's not.
I'm just saying to myself, he's not here for the money.
That's not actually correct.
Which bit of that picture
would you think that any sane investor would get?
That's really clever, that's brilliant.
That's the most ridiculous thing
that's ever come into the Den that's got investment.
Welcome to Dragons' Den.
It's here the business is done.
Once those lift doors open,
entrepreneurs' fortunes can be made or their dreams can be shattered.
First into the Den is a Londoner Dan Hubert,
an entrepreneur on an upward trajectory.
I don't want just a sounding board, I want a springboard, as well.
So it's that person who can put some propane into my rocket.
And Dan is aiming high when it comes to the valuation of his company.
I'm prepared to defend my valuation all the way.
They will probably scoff a little bit,
but it's understanding the true depth our business
and then the true potential.
But will the Dragons,
notoriously fiery when it comes to a business' price tag,
be convinced his enterprise is worth it?
My name's Dan Hubert, I'm the founder of AppyParking.
Today, I'm here to ask for £200,000 in return for 2% equity.
Drivers are currently lost when it comes to parking.
And as a result of all this confusion,
the average Brit in their lifetime wastes 347 days
and £37,000 on fuel, looking for that elusive parking spot.
AppyParking isn't like any other parking app.
Imagine being able to drive into any city
and understand every parking rule, even on single yellow lines.
Imagine being disabled, or owning an electric car or motorbike,
and having every destination mapped out in the palm of your hand.
Imagine being able to choose between on and off-street,
or the cheapest or the nearest.
What if the roads had sensors
and they told you if there was a free bay or not,
and you could drive into that free bay and your car automatically
took a payment?
What if the average parking time was reduced from 20 minutes
down to 30 seconds?
AppyParking is all of these solutions.
AppyParking is available via a free website
or award-winning app,
that gets downloaded tens of thousands of times each month.
We also license a parking data feed,
which can be consumed by fleet companies and car manufacturers.
The European parking market is worth £33 billion, and in the UK,
900 billion by 2025.
Your investment will go towards making AppyParking
into the world's-best parking marketplace,
saving drivers time, money, stress and parking tickets.
Thank you for listening, and I look forward to your questions.
A finely-tuned pitch from Dan Hubert.
-A parking ticket?
-It's not real, don't worry.
The dapper entrepreneur behind the app
that aims to solve our parking dilemmas.
He's offering just 2% equity
in exchange for a hefty £200,000 investment.
-Oh, no, not another one.
-Not another one!
Sarah Willingham wants to get a grasp of how his app operates.
So, did you say you've got national coverage now?
Well, it's 11 cities.
So how does it work,
because parking, it's not the same in every street,
-in every corner, in every city?
Yeah, so we have two levels of data, so the consumer app, basically,
has pins, like, you know, here's a spot, here's a spot.
The prices, it's got a pay-by-phone provider linked into it.
And it's got zones as well, so every street is a control parking zone.
Currently, you can say, yes, there is parking on this street?
Yes, we are mapping every on-street and off-street car park,
and I can show you exactly the spot that's right for you, for price,
-time of day, that sort of stuff.
-Because I use apps, at the moment,
when I'm in London, that tell me where my nearest parking is.
That actually doesn't give you controlled hours...
No, no, absolutely, it's nowhere near the sophistication
-of yours at all.
-All they are is a payment gateway.
We have a payment gateway built into our parking knowledge.
There's another thing I want to understand about this model,
which is, how do you...
Are you able to tell me where there is an empty parking space?
-How do you do that?
So, this is an on-street sensor,
so we've just rolled out 72 of these into Coventry,
we've put every single disabled bay in Coventry.
So the answer is, you can do this by using sensors?
-OK. Until every parking space has a sensor,
what is the other way you can tell if there's an empty parking space?
We just currently did a solution with Westminster,
Vodafone and Pimlico Plumbers,
and this basically turns vehicles into sensors.
OK, I grant you that's really clever, that's brilliant.
A credible app and cutting-edge sensor technology
make a positive impression on online innovator Nick Jenkins.
But has Deborah Meaden sensed a business that will burn money?
You're still in development,
and you're obviously looking to raise 200,000 today.
How much more money do you think it's actually going to take?
Right, OK, so we would probably need about 20...
It'd be about three million.
You must have gone quite a long way with this already.
-Yeah, we've raised 1.2 million.
From angels and then from institutional investors as well.
-So you've got institutional investors on board?
What was the last valuation you brought money into the company at?
-Four million, basically.
-Four million, OK.
OK, do you know how this works in Dragons' Den?
Essentially, we're expected to give our time, contacts and expertise...
-And in return for that, you know what,
kind of don't expect to get a valuation
which is twice as much as the last round.
So, just to be clear, that's been a year or more of progress.
OK, what are your figures in terms of revenue?
-So we're projected for half a million this year.
And then next year, we're projected for two million,
and then the year after that, five million.
-Five million profit?
It was a four million profit, it'll be a million running costs.
Confident financial projections keep Nick Jenkins onside.
But has Deborah Meaden been able to get past her concerns
over Dan's cash-guzzling business model?
It's quite a resource-hungry business, isn't it?
In terms of building this thing.
I think you've got a big mountain to climb.
I've invested in, you know, big, uber websites, I get what it takes.
I genuinely think that your estimation
of how much you want,
in my experience, it takes twice as much and twice as long.
You're going to need a lot more cash than it's ever going to interest me.
I won't be investing, I'm out.
Deborah Meaden becomes the first Dragon to break cover
and state her position.
Can Sarah Willingham find a place for the parking app
in her online business portfolio?
I think it's really good, I think you're obviously very, very good.
I mean...but you don't doubt that for a minute either.
I think, for me, it's about finding businesses that I can add value to.
-With people that I can work with that actually need my help.
-I love that.
And that's not who you are.
You've got to go out and raise lots more money,
so either I continue to invest as a very passive investor,
or I get diluted by an enormous amount very, very quickly.
It's not for me, I'm out.
Sarah Willingham joins Deborah Meaden in exiting the deal,
with concerns this isn't a business
that would benefit from her hands-on approach.
The £10 million valuation is clearly an issue in the Den.
Can Touker Suleyman find a way to drive through a deal?
To get a Dragon on board, you'd have to really look at your evaluation
because hopefully we'll add some value.
And I'm just saying to myself, "He's not here for the money."
That's not actually correct.
So are you willing to give up 15% of your business for 200,000?
We're all impressed with the technology.
But...I feel, uh,
this is just a passive investment you're looking for.
And for that reason, Dan, I'm not going to invest in you and I'm out.
With the entrepreneur unwilling to negotiate,
Touker Suleyman also puts the brakes on a deal.
Peter Jones, with his powerful black book of contacts in the world
of technology, has so far remained silent.
Time for some nifty manoeuvring.
How much equity have you got yourself in the business?
I've got 46.85 or something.
So it wouldn't affect or offend your other shareholders
if you decided to dilute yourself.
Just to prove Touker's point.
-So why would that be such a big thing for you?
Yeah, that's a valid question.
And I guess it really depends on sort of...limits.
Well, Dan, I'm going to test that limit.
And the reason why I'm going to test that limit is because
I... I like it a lot, I think you're onto something.
But there is a risk to anything here,
and there are many companies such as yourselves, as you will know,
don't get anywhere.
I'm not convinced that you're one of those.
I genuinely believe you're going to get somewhere.
This is a marketplace where I'm actively involved.
I do a lot of work with Google,
I've got very good relationships there,
and I think that where you're going,
those relationships will be tested,
and sometimes a friendly face that's been around,
that knows and has those contacts, that could not just open the doors,
but actually conclude those transactions and deals very quickly,
will propel the business faster than others.
So I'm going to offer you all of the money.
But I want 20% of the business.
-And I'd be happy to share it
if Nick is interested. Because I think Nick's still in.
A racy offer from the Dragon
known for his scepticism about high valuations.
He's boldly asking for 18% more equity than Dan is offering.
Will Nick Jenkins take him up on his offer to go halves?
You know what, you've got the right to say no, here we go.
Give you half the money for 10% and share it with Peter.
-Or you can do it all with Peter for 20%.
And I think I would definitely prefer Nick involved
-because I think Nick adds immeasurable value.
And both of us, working with you directly,
-is that propulsion that you're looking for.
Do you want to go to the back of the room and have a think about it?
Yeah? If you want to...have a think.
Finally, a bid for Dan's business
from both Peter Jones and Nick Jenkins.
But their equity demands of 10% each
is ten times the 2% that Dan originally offered.
-I'd be amazed...
There's no chance he'll accept 20 in a million years, no way.
It's an honour to be offered that by two Dragons.
I think, in terms of
20% for 200,000,
I'm going to have to say no to that.
What I would put back to you,
or both of you,
is 5% for 200,000.
So 5% each?
-5% in total?
An audacious counteroffer back from the entrepreneur
who wants Peter Jones and Nick Jenkins to share a 5% stake.
Would you do 7.5%?
Will the two Dragons be prepared to compromise
at 15% less than they originally offered?
I just wondered, if we dropped to 15%...
I can't do 15, I'm sorry.
OK. Dan, well,
-I think...it doesn't get me excited as much.
-If I was sharing it with Nick - it's 2.5% each. It's...
Are you sure, Dan?
Thank you very much for your time.
I'll give you back your polite notice and hope you don't regret it.
Thank you very much.
It takes nerve to turn down the multimillionaire investors,
but Dan, who has opted to decline Dragon capital,
leaves the Den still holding all his equity.
I'm not sure I've got any regrets right now.
You know, every percent counts in any company.
Next into the Den is Mustafa Mehmet from Kent.
An entrepreneur on a mission.
I want to make a mark and a difference,
and be a leader at something, rather than just do a regular job.
I've always kind of been that driven and that ambitious.
And he'll do what ever it takes to get investment
in his innovative product for the beauty industry.
So if they really start giving me a hard time,
I'm just going to fight back and stand my ground, stick to my guns.
But will Mustafa's business idea put him in the Dragon firing line?
Hello, Dragons. My name is Mustafa Mehmet.
I'm the founder of a company called Well Gel, London Ltd.
And I'm here today to ask for £70,000
in exchange for 35% of my company.
A new start-up company.
Well Gel London Ltd is a unique, all-in-one, natural,
non-toxic gel nail system.
Aisha's going to demonstrate the ease of application
as I'm doing my pitch.
It's completely chemical-free,
and the idea of it is to provide a faster,
healthy alternative to the gel nail industry.
With only an application time of 15 minutes,
as opposed to 40 minutes with conventional systems
on the market already.
The industry today, just in the gel nail market,
is worth 453 million.
So it's vastly escalating by 35% every year.
And it's become the number one beauty selling product.
It's overtaken lipstick sales.
We have sparked an interest on Facebook.
We have 2,396 followers.
But you're looking to potentially invest in a company that wants to
make a change in the industry and lead by example.
With a new, natural alternative product.
So, remember the next time, ladies, you have your nails done,
don't just be gel, be Well Gel.
A polished pitch from Kent-based Mustafa Mehmet.
Which he hopes will nail him a £70,000 investment.
Thank you. Can I see your nails?
In return, he's offering a 35% stake in his business,
supplying gel manicure products with a natural twist.
A simple proposition.
But Deborah Meaden is a little perplexed.
How did you get into nails?
Forgive me, but you don't look...
You don't look like the target market.
No. So I used to be a car sprayer before.
-A car sprayer?
-A car sprayer and panel beater.
And I used to customise cars.
-Went from spraying cars for McLaren Mercedes, Ferrari,
Aston Martin, to wanting to understand why,
when I spray a panel, does the paint even stay on the panel.
So I studied rheology, which is the study of paint.
And, to me, this is just another paint system
and my surface is a nail,
rather than a car door, or the paint on your walls.
OK, but fill in that gap.
At what point did you sit there and think,
spraying your Ferraris and Aston Martins, "I know what I'll do,
"I'll create some nail gels."
-I mean, how did that happen?
-So I went to the salon with my sister.
She was getting her nails done.
I'd been there for about 40 minutes.
The back of my throat was getting irritated.
I was feeling like I would go out for air because of the environment.
And I was just looking at the way they achieve an end finish.
They use three to four different components
to end up with one finish.
So I thought, "I could re-engineer this and make it a better product."
I think that's absolutely brilliant.
Is this your product? Have you actually created...?
This is my developed product.
The entrepreneur and his product
have made a positive early impression on Deborah Meaden.
Now, Nick Jenkins wants to know
exactly how speedy Mustafa's manicures really are.
How much quicker is this than the existing method?
It's a 15-minute application.
So, on average, if you do a manicure and a gel application,
it takes an experienced manicurist half an hour to 40 minutes.
So more than twice as fast?
-You can double your turnover from the same premises?
Yes. Some of them actually use it as an express gel.
-Alongside their existing gel product.
You've come in and said, "This is quicker than anything else."
Mm-hmm. It is.
And I know it's not.
The nail technicians who have been in the industry for 20 years
-have told me it is.
-But it's not,
because I know that there are other products out there
that loads of people have, that I've had, where you go in,
you've got to be really quick, it's one coat, cure, out.
That is your product.
So there's...there was that claim.
So...is your point of difference
the environmental bit?
My point of difference is
the environmental bit is completely non-toxic,
and expectant mothers can wear it.
So I'm the only one that can literally state -
and it has it written on the bottle -
that it's suitable for pregnant women.
Mustafa calmly covers all the bases.
And seems to be keeping Sarah Willingham onside.
But is Deborah Meaden convinced
by his claim that the product is non-toxic and natural?
So, Mustafa, it's taken out all those nasty...
Bad stuff in the existing product?
-Yes. There are no carcinogenic materials in there.
It's not a solvent-based product.
So you've got the facts that can back that up?
Yes, it's been SGS-tested.
Which... SGS is an independent body that tests chemicals.
They do their own due diligence.
I've got the documents to say it is non-toxic.
Actually, I might read the document, if you don't mind.
And by the way, non-toxic is very different to natural.
-I'll find it.
-Oh, sorry. It's, um...
Cos it's split in two, sorry.
-Pass it to me...
-There you go, it's through there.
-..and I will find it.
-It's through there.
With the paperwork firmly in the hands of the queen of due diligence,
fashion retail impresario Touker Suleyman
now wants to take the nail industry innovator to task
over how he'll fund his new business.
This is something that you'd like to start?
This is something that I'm really passionate about...
So if you start this...
-..as a start-up...
-..how are you going to pay yourself?
Erm...through the investment that I'm seeking today.
Yeah, but 70,000 is not going to get you very far.
It'll get the product out on the market, to do beauty shows,
-Show me an order.
I haven't got an order. I've got an interest.
-But that's why I'm here.
-Listen, I'm an expert, all due respect.
You're going to struggle.
You will struggle. And I think 70,000 is not enough.
You're going to need...
to have any chance of getting this out there.
You've got to have other money.
I don't believe, apart from money, that I can add any value to this.
And for that reason, I'm out.
The cost of bringing his product to market
loses Mustafa his first Dragon.
Will technology tycoon Peter Jones see the USP in the product?
Do you own the rights to the formulation?
So I own...50% of the formulation,
which is the important part.
It's been co-developed with a laboratory in China.
So half of this is owned by somebody else?
By the laboratory.
It's...it doesn't hit me as an investment for me personally.
And I think it's something that's got to hit with you.
And you've got to get excited about it.
It almost seems too good to be true, as well.
So there's quite a lot going on.
And if another Dragon invests and it becomes successful,
then I'll just going to end up being Well Gel.
But I'm going to say that I'm out.
I similarly feel as though I struggle...
I need to see what I think I can do to help.
And I'm struggling to...
Struggling to see what I can do.
Wish you all the best of luck, but I'm out.
Three Dragons down.
Sarah Willingham had earlier reservations about Mustafa's claim
that his varnish is the quickest-drying on the market.
Has she heard anything to change her mind?
On this particular product, I just...
I just can't get there
because I don't think it's faster than others on the market.
And I think there is so much competition out there already,
doing what you do.
It's not an investment for me, so I'm out.
Sarah Willingham also exits the deal,
leaving Mustafa hanging onto hopes of investment by his fingernails.
Deborah Meaden has studied the paperwork
and there's something amiss.
So when you talked about it being safe and natural,
completely, it says here it's not carcinogenic.
-So that is absolutely right.
I wasn't expecting to read words like "harmful if swallowed,
"absorbed through skin or inhaled.
"Causes eye, skin and respiratory tract irritation".
Why would I read was like that on a really safe and natural product?
So, most products, if they're swallowed or put on the skin
for a long length of time,
would irritate the skin, depending on someone's allergies.
No, not...not at the level of natural...
I thought we were talking about a safe, natural product.
"Use neoprene gloves,
"chemical goggles should be used in the combination
"with a full face shield."
Mm. They're generics of most paint products.
You need to wear gloves, you need to wear eye protection.
You can't use words of, "this is a non-toxic product"
when it is a toxic product.
They don't say on a non-toxic product, "Keep individual calm,
"get medical attention immediately."
I assure you that is just a generic format for any paint product
on the market, whether it's water-based...
You didn't say this is safer than the other paint products.
You said it was non-toxic.
So, on the nail,
not the skin,
This is actually saying that,
heated up to a certain heat and if there's any mist or any spillage,
it is toxic.
Like petrol is at a fuel station.
If it's heated up at a certain temperature...
Everything's got a flash point.
I'm sorry, you're now changing the story
that started completely natural and non-toxic.
And you're now saying, "Well, actually, yes,
"but, you know, in the real world out there everything has a..."
No, no, I'm just trying to address what you've asked me.
It's not what you told me it was.
And the bit that you misled me on
is the bit that really, really had my interest.
I'm glad I read that. But I won't be investing.
The entrepreneur may have stood his ground,
but ultimately he failed to convince a disillusioned Deborah Meaden
to invest in his start-up.
-Thank you very much.
He leaves the Den with nothing but a belief that he's been misunderstood.
Deborah made some harsh comments about it being
you know, not non-toxic in relation to the skin.
The product's for nails.
You know, it doesn't damage the nail.
I stick to my guns.
I shall carry on in my journey to get it into the market.
And just get it out there, really.
Also hoping for a Dragon cash injection
were Polish postgraduate Artur Napiorkowski
and his German business partner, Denny Schenk.
The studious double act came into the Den with a solution to what they
believed to be a very peculiar British plumbing problem.
Separate hot and cold water taps.
Me, personally, I find separate taps extremely inconvenient.
So this is the retro-mixer.
It's an adapter for separate taps that mixes the two water streams.
It's adjustable to different distances between the two taps.
So no more frostbite, no more third-degree burns.
Warm water for everyone.
The Scotland-based duo
hoped to persuade the Dragons to pour £45,000 into
their DIY mixer tap in return for 15% equity.
We do have the separate tap system.
It is bonkers, I mean, I don't know why...
It is, when you think about it.
Nick Jenkins felt the plucky Brits
already had a solution to the hot-cold tap conundrum.
If you live in Britain,
you eventually develop a technique which...
You go from tap to tap. It's just, it's what you do.
And, you know,
you don't allow your hands under one tap for long enough for them
to scald, you stick them back under the cold tap.
While Sarah Willingham had some personal experience
to share about the product's potential target market.
I've got a Danish husband.
And he goes on about this all the time.
It drives him insane. He can't believe it.
So he would say, "Genius!"
Unfortunately for the entrepreneurs,
Mr Willingham wasn't available to offer an investment.
And an unimpressed Peter Jones soon poured cold water on the whole idea.
This is a hot tap and a cold tap. It's not that difficult to work out.
You put a little plug, because there's normally a hole in the sink,
cos that's where the water goes out. You put a plug in there,
pull the two and you've now got lukewarm water.
That's true. The only problem
is that no-one really has time for that nowadays.
-The sink gets really dirty after...
No-one has time for it? You students...sorry.
You've got more time on your hands than anybody's got.
Deborah Meaden was the first to send their investment hopes
down the plughole.
I'm probably not your natural investor,
because I've just installed a really pretty sink
with some really lovely individual taps.
Because that's...cos what they look like matters are way more to me
than whether I had to switch one on there, one on there.
So my water stays separate. I won't be investing, guys.
And the other Dragons were also lukewarm on the prospect of a deal.
In 150 years' time,
we will eventually work out that mixer taps are better,
in which case we won't need any of these.
So good luck with selling them all, but I'm afraid I'm out.
You've really made me smile and I am going to buy one
and put it in the Dane's Christmas stocking.
But it's not big enough to be a business.
I'm afraid I'm out.
Still to come on tonight's show:
Separating substance from the spin.
-This is what I don't understand.
Why would you not focus on the thing that you've already proven?
It doesn't make sense.
It doesn't stack up.
And the Den disagrees on what makes a money-spinning idea.
Let's get it out there and see what happens.
That is the most ridiculous thing that's ever come into the Den.
I'll have to prove you wrong, Peter.
Next into the Den is Alison Grieve from Edinburgh.
An entrepreneur with a bold claim about her product and her business.
Well, it's the perfect kind of merger of creativity and science.
It's the best time to go on the Den,
because the business has never looked so exciting.
And there is one Dragon in particular Alison has her eye on.
The Dragon with the most relevant experience is Peter Jones.
And also we share the same birthday,
so I kind of feel it's meant to be.
My name is Alison Grieve, And I have a mission:
To change the way the world holds things.
I'm here today selling 7.5% of the company
for a £75,000 investment.
I first began Holding Hands in 2010,
with the Safetray.
The Safetray is a patented food service tray
that doesn't topple over,
but is still completely stackable.
The Safetray brought us revenues of over £300,000,
has achieved distribution across 17 countries,
and whilst travelling with the Safetray,
I decided to buy a tablet to make it easier to work on the move.
And whilst I love the convenience of the tablet,
I found it somewhat awkward to hold.
So I applied my ergonomic expertise to invent the G-Hold.
A recent patent examiner's report found G-Hold to be a novel solution,
offering unprecedented control with a single hand, 360 rotation,
and ergonomic hold regardless of hand size,
whilst retaining the sleek design of tablets.
We decided to launch G-Hold on Kickstarter,
to test the market, and were successful,
and we raised £13,000 and had 700 units pre-ordered.
We now have an opportunity to grow in a far larger market
than food service alone.
But we need to fund that growth.
Please join our mission to change the way the world holds things.
A dual-offering of ergonomic inventions
from Edinburgh-based Alison Grieve.
-Some dummy iPads to play with.
One, a non-slip service tray,
the other an innovative holder for electronic tablets.
Alison wants the dragons to offer up a £75,000 investment
in return for 7.5% of her company.
Oh, wow. Have they all got my face on?
No, mine's got my face on it.
Technology giant Peter Jones
wants to get a handle on the tablet's target market.
I see these types of product every day of my life, actually.
Because I have a site that sells a lot of gadgety-type things.
All over the world, every day, 170 countries.
-I'm trying to think, there must be a specific application
that you'd use this for?
-So, because this isn't really practical -
if you're going to use a pad, if you're going to use...
You want to use both hands.
You wouldn't tend to go like that,
unless you are either working in a restaurant,
where you might want to take their order,
or you might want to show somebody something when you're presenting.
-It's very, very specific. I'm not sure the wider use to this.
See, the biggest growth in tablet sales
-have been for industrial applications.
What do you mean by that?
So, for example, we've been working with RBS.
They've bought a number of units to trial with their customer service,
so that they can engage with customers more readily,
show them the screen, be able to present,
look things up on their tablet without having to hold it awkwardly.
I understand that, that's customer engagement,
but that doesn't necessarily mean that I need to have this ring
-at the back of a pad, does it?
the ergonomic aspect to that
is that people have started to develop "tablet neck"
from looking over their tablets a lot instead of holding them up.
That's a poor argument, really.
Well, it's a proven argument, because there have been
a big increase in musculoskeletal disorders.
If you even think that your product will resolve that issue,
I think that is more than just overselling it.
I think it's a very, very tiny fragment of an opportunity
in terms of its market.
Peter, can I just give some examples of the customers who have used it?
Give me an example, what sector?
A national franchisee, who... It's to do with dieting.
But it's 5,000 units roll-out.
-And what are they going to do with it?
-They're going to be having
their weekly meetings and they're going to present.
You might say that somebody's going to order 5,000 of these from you,
even that doesn't make it a great business.
Well, the Home Shopping Network sold out within...
They didn't, you sold 2,000 units. I mean, that's nothing.
But they've only just started selling.
It doesn't matter. That doesn't matter.
I've got products that will sell 100,000 in an hour.
Alison's feisty defence of her tablet-holder
does little to dent Peter Jones' criticism of her product,
and the size of its market.
Her original invention, the nonslip tray,
has already served up considerable sales.
Retail magnate Touker Suleyman wants the lowdown on its success.
You say you've been going since 2014?
For the G-Hold, yeah, but Safetray started in 2010.
OK, let's talk about that.
So, give us some numbers on that?
Yeah, so, that's two parts to the revenue of Safetray,
one is the sales from our own manufacturing,
which were just over £80,000.
-And then £230,000 through licensing
the technology to a North American partner.
So that 230,000 was a royalty?
Yeah, it was a mixture of upfront license fee and royalties,
but basically came from a licence.
Clearly you did a great job of licensing out that product.
Someone has paid you £230,000.
But what I'm trying to understand is that, is that for ever?
Is that for a year?
No, so that licence,
that was a three-year deal and it came to an end.
OK, but when you say it came to an end...
-It... Why would it come to an end?
Presumably it's still a good product?
We basically parked Safetray.
There were issues with the manufacturing,
we experienced warping.
That took us out of production for a year.
So we parked Safetray and focused entirely on developing the G-Hold.
-Based on whether...
-OK, but you've already developed a product that
-someone has paid you...
-Yeah, I don't get it.
-It came down to a question of focus.
-This is what I don't understand.
Why would you not focus on the thing that you've already proven?
It was a painful decision, but...
It's a confusing decision, as well.
The revelation that Alison switched focus from a developed product with
a licensing track record, to an unproven new one,
raises a red flag for Nick Jenkins.
Deborah Meaden is also struggling to understand the rationale behind
the entrepreneur's business decision.
It doesn't make sense.
You know, if I play it back to you,
we have a product that is a really good product,
and we actually sell it for a licence fee for £230,000.
-We're in trouble.
We're distracted, so we need to focus on something.
So what we'll do, we'll stop focusing on the thing that we know
sells and does really well, and we'll look over here and do this
thing that we have no idea whether it sells or not.
-And which bit of that picture
would you think that any sane investor would get?
And I, you know, I understand that
and it was a painful thing for me.
I only have a very, very small time to bring you to your comfort levels,
I understand that. And, you know...
But people do, Alison. People come in here and they do,
and they do that because they present a clear case
that hangs together.
You have not presented a good case to me here.
I won't be investing, I'm out.
Confusion over Alison's decision to sideline a successful product
sees Deborah Meaden walk away from a deal.
And it appears that a sceptical Peter Jones
has also made his mind up.
I think it's admirable,
the fact that you've developed a product and sold it.
You've gone on to develop another product and sold it.
Alison, I think you're in a really difficult position.
This is never going to be a volume product.
It looks ugly, it's not usable...
-..and, frankly, at the moment,
it's a very targeted market, this.
And it's very small one.
So...I can't invest in something like this, I don't believe in it.
But, more importantly, I think you should have a bit of a reality check
and really think about your business.
Peter Jones was the Dragon the entrepreneur hoped to impress.
But, uninspired, he exits the negotiations.
Sarah Willingham has a lucrative track record
in global restaurant franchises.
Can she see a use for Alison's products
in the food service industry?
-Firstly, I think you've coped pretty well, actually.
I've seen people completely lose it with a lot less.
-Thank you very much.
-It's not an easy environment at all.
But I do think it's very fair.
There are still so many question marks, and I...
I've got to be honest,
it feels like it feels like such a lot of it is spin.
I can't really get underneath what the reality is.
And the bit that I can't let go of is the tray.
You came up with a tray,
you sold it. But don't anybody worry about that
because we've got this new, great product here.
And I'm like, hang on a minute, hang on a minute -
what about this great product?
-I do understand.
I think that there was a lot of pain endured during the time
with Safetray, and the fact that we did mess up production,
-we took a long time to get back.
-But it's licensing, though,
so what the hell's production got to do with it?
We weren't able to fully support that licensing partner,
nor the distributors that we had.
Our investors wanted us to focus on G-Hold,
and wanted to see that tested out.
And were excited by G-Hold.
The same investors that invested in the tray in the first place?
For me, it just doesn't stack up.
There's just no way I can invest, I'm sorry, I'm out.
Sarah Willingham also bows out,
unable to get past Alison's decision to park the Safetray.
Will Nick Jenkins be willing to do a deal with the Edinburgh inventor?
What you would need to do to get my investment is to take this product
further than you have already.
You're on the cusp of doing sales, you need to focus on doing that.
-You need to focus on taking this business into profitability.
But right now, there just isn't enough evidence for me to invest,
so I'm out.
Four Dragons down, only Touker Suleyman remains.
Will the Den's king of outsourcing be the Dragon
to see traction in the tablet-holder?
It's not a bad product.
Because, from a commercial sense, if you think
the online business is growing, so there is a use for it.
There is a use in retail stores.
So I think there's something there.
I can see you selling lots of these.
But I'm not going to join you on that journey, I'm afraid.
And for that reason, I'm out.
Alison's mission may be to change the way the world holds things,
but concerns over the direction she's taken her business means
the prospect of a Dragon investment simply slipped through her fingers.
I was a bit thrown by Peter not liking the product.
And because that's his zone,
I think that had a knock-on effect.
I would like to show the Dragons, in the future,
that I do know what I'm doing with this business.
The final entrepreneur to enter the Den
is Dublin-based Jamie Lawler,
who's got a big idea for the little boys' room.
People think it's fun, it's a novel idea.
When children are over visiting our house,
we get calls later on from mothers to say,
"What's the story with your toilet?
"My child is telling me you have the coolest toilet around."
It is a fun idea, but this has global potential.
It could be big.
Hello, Dragons. My name is Jamie Lawler.
I'm here today with my simple invention that has retail potential.
I'm hoping for a £40,000 investment in return for a 20% share.
As a father of three young children,
I've found my fair share of unflushed toilets.
Children see flushing the toilet as a chore.
And we all know it's hard to get children
to do something when it's a chore.
So I thought, "How could I turn that chore into a pleasure?"
And that was the start of Kidsflush.
A simple unit that sticks over the top of your existing toilet button,
held in place with suction cups.
The large, colourful button is easy for children to press.
Giving that visual reminder.
And, of course, one more thing, we made it fun.
Children get that built-in sound module cheer when played.
I am pre-trading, but design is done, testing is done,
and tooling has started.
So I will pass out some samples and I welcome any questions.
Hoping to flush a few quid out of the Dragons
is Dublin-based Jamie Lawler.
Does mine fanfare?
They all do, the first lot are all fanfares, yeah.
He's asking for £40,000 in return for a 20% stake
in his kid-friendly loo-flushing gadget.
Sorry. You can turn them off by turning the button.
I probably should have left them turned off.
Deborah Meaden wants to find out if the idea
is more than just a flash in the pan.
Jamie, I guess the first...
The first question is, is it just for children?
Because I know quite a few adults
who like to hail the announcement of...
Anyway, let's not go there.
Well... So, pre-trading.
That means you've done, you've made it,
you haven't sold any at all.
Have you talked to any retailers?
Anybody who's actually likely to sell it?
I've provisionally spoken to retailers,
and the feedback that I got was, "That's fantastic,
"when can we have stock and can you leave samples with me?"
So, which retailers have you spoken to?
It was somebody who actually used to work for Tesco.
And how much will they sell for?
£12, they retail for £12.
-And how much have they cost you to make?
I think my ideal would be to get into retail and possibly
position it as an impulse buy, so it would be hanging
in a supermarket next to the pull-up nappies,
and it's kind of a case of, when they're doing the shopping,
they'll pick it up.
The Dublin-based entrepreneur
reveals his retail aspirations for his novelty product.
With a household of five children,
tech tycoon Peter Jones knows more than most about the issue at hand.
But does he think the toilet idea holds water?
Jamie, in essence, you've invented a button
that goes on top of a button.
Yeah, a button for a button.
A button for a button.
I'm going to tell you straight away, I think it's crazy.
There's two things you should know about kids. Well, you know.
First thing is getting them going to the loo is one thing,
but once you've got to that age and they do,
when they get that out seat, they tend to just rush out.
They're not going to rush out and think,
"Oh, I've got to go back and press that, because it's ..."
They'll do it once or twice and then get bored.
Yes, it has worked in our house.
We've had it on our toilet and it's worked.
Our children flush the toilet now.
I think you just need to tell your kids to flush the toilet.
You've got a product, but, Jamie...
It's bordering on the ridiculous.
I disagree with him.
I think... I think you've got something here.
I remember when my children were much younger,
and I was always going behind them, "Flush the loo."
But this makes it fun.
And I think most of them will say to their mummies,
"I want to go to the loo cos I want to flush it."
Exactly. I mean, that's the idea.
Do you have any other ideas for any other products?
We do, yeah, we do have some thought around
getting children to wash their hands.
I suppose the idea is to bring fun to everyday tasks for children.
I hate to ask what you're going to do for that?
Well, we might make the water glow or the soap glow.
The Kidsflush finds a friend in the Den in Touker Suleyman.
Plans to diversify into other products
should be music to a Dragon's ears.
Is Nick Jenkins tuned in, or about to drop out?
-It's a very well-made product.
-Yeah, that's the prototype.
-I was amazed by how heavy it is.
-It's very nicely made.
But, in short, this is a product, not a business, really.
And it's just really too limited to be of interest.
But good luck with it. I'm out.
Nick Jenkins puts the lid down on the toilet gadget.
Sarah Willingham has a sizeable clan at home.
Does she see some potential profit in the child-friendly product?
Jamie, I think you must have had so much fun coming up with this,
and thinking of your glowing soap and your glowing water,
and all those other ideas in your head -
you must actually really enjoy this?
Yeah, it's been fun. It's been an experience.
And I think, honestly,
if you can make a living doing stuff like this,
and enjoying it, then why not?
But, no, I'm sorry, it's not investable.
I'm afraid I'm out.
Forgetting to flush clearly isn't an issue in the Willingham WC.
Has Peter Jones been relieved of his earlier concerns?
Jamie, I am honestly beyond worried.
Find somewhere else that you can make your money,
because this isn't it. This is not going to change your life.
I admire the fact that you're coming up with ideas,
but this is not a good one.
So, unfortunately, I'm out.
Do you know, I think it looks fun.
And I definitely think you'll sell some.
And I do think you'll make money out of it.
And, certainly, when people see it...
It makes people smile, you know?
But it's not an investment.
So, I'm afraid I'm about to say those two words, Jamie -
-but thank you for bringing it in, it's made me smile...
..and my husband might get one for Christmas.
So, anyway, Jamie, I won't be investing, I'm out.
With Deborah Meaden out, just Touker Suleyman remains.
Will the Irish entrepreneur
get a royal flush of five Dragon rejections?
Jamie, I like it.
He likes it!
-The thing is, is it a business?
This is the question.
At the moment, what debts has the company got?
None, really, only the personal investment that I've made there,
so there's no real debt and there's no real costs in the company either,
you know, in running the company, so...
-And there's no other costs in the company?
-And where are you based?
Do you need a London-based office?
Could be handy.
You've got me right on that line.
-Get him over the line, Jamie!
It does have potential. I mean, there's a lot of...
-So where would the money go to?
-There's a lot of people...
but I'm not planning on holding a warehouse
full of stock of Kidsflush.
I'll give you all the money for 40%.
And is there any negotiation on that?
No, because it's a real start-up.
You're going to need a bit of help.
You're going to need a few phone calls to people like Mothercare.
Maybe even take it across the water to the States.
-But would I be able to help you from London
to open doors for you and get pre-orders?
-Get some stock in,
and then let's get it out there and see what happens.
-I'll take your offer.
Jamie has done it.
Having faced some dubious Dragons for much of his pitch,
the Dublin entrepreneur manages to get an offer in the can.
And leaves the Den with a retail expert Dragon on board,
and the £40,000 investment he was looking for.
I would've said that is the most ridiculous thing
that's ever come into the Den.
Now I can say it's the most ridiculous thing that has ever come
into the Den that's got investment.
I'll have to prove you wrong, Peter.
I'll bet you the 40 grand you bet that you won't.
Yeah, I was a bit worried all right, it wasn't going too well.
But Touker came in in the end and we got the deal done.
I'm not changing the world here. It's a bit of fun.
But, you know, there's a lot of toilets out there,
and a lot of children.
Some light relief to end tonight's dramas in the Den,
that, in one way or another, have all been about innovators
and inventions. But, as we've just seen, however unlikely an idea,
it takes the backing of just one Dragon
to give a business a chance of success.
And that brings proceedings to a close for this series.
But don't despair,
the Den will be back open for business later this year.
Coming soon in the thrilling new series,
two new fire breathers enter the Den.
Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman, Sarah Willingham and Nick Jenkins take their seats to face a fresh batch of entrepreneurs who dare to enter through the Den doors.
In this episode, a former panel beater hopes to seal a deal with the Dragons with his innovative nail gel product. An inventor from Dublin is looking to rinse the Dragons of some capital with his unique toilet-flushing gadget for kids, and a dapper businessman with a parking app stuns the Den with his company valuation. Will his technology impress the Dragons enough to secure investment or will they put the brakes on a deal?