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'These are the Dragons.
'Five of Britain's wealthiest and most enterprising business leaders.
'Over the coming weeks, they'll make or break the dreams of dozens of budding entrepreneurs.'
This is definitely in the top ten worst things that ever came in Dragons' Den. Maybe top five.
I feel like you've got a shield up and you're deflecting the only answer I'm trying to get to.
If you'd brought that piece of paper into the den, I would've personally invested.
I know the other Dragons are going to think I've lost my marbles, but I'd like to make you an offer.
Everybody has to leave the party with a balloon.
And this was not a party that I would leave with a balloon.
'The multi-millionaire investors have each built up their fortunes from scratch.
'Hotel and health-club owner Duncan Bannatyne.
'Leisure industry expert Deborah Meaden.
'Retail magnate Theo Paphitis.
'Telecoms giant Peter Jones.
'And new Dragon Hilary Devey, who made her millions in the haulage industry.
'The Dragons have the credentials, the contacts, the commitment and the cash ready to invest.
'But only in the right business.
'Will any of these hopeful entrepreneurs walk away with their money?'
Welcome to the Dragons' Den.
Entrepreneurs have applied in their thousands
to face the multi-millionaire investors
in the hope of securing an all-important cash injection
for their business. The Dragons are notoriously ruthless
and will only invest in the opportunities they believe will return a good profit.
It's a tough arena for any entrepreneur
but the potential rewards are life-changing.
Former radio DJ Bob Davis is first up, keen to create a good first impression.
Let's see if his tactics pay off.
Hello, Dragons. My name's Bob Davis, managing director of Unique Ideas UK Ltd,
and I'm here today to ask you for a £50,000 cash injection
for a 20 percent share in a brand new company
that will manufacture and market an interactive game challenge.
Now, I've been in the event industry for just over 25 years.
I've worked for many large companies and small and one thing that is apparent,
in order to maintain their market share, they will have to do one of the following.
That is to organise an exhibition, staff motivation,
maybe a charity events to create PR, as well,
and certainly just maybe a good old bash.
This product clearly ticks all of the boxes.
We have had many technical issues during its two-year development.
Now, whilst I'm no physicist, I can say that the issues that we had,
all of those have been overcome.
We have noticed one very important thing.
I cannot find any other company
that is currently manufacturing, on a commercial basis, this product.
So before we take the cover off, this really has so much potential, five revenue streams...
-Bob, it better be good, that's all I've got to say.
-HILARY: It sounds it, doesn't it?
-It is good.
-Get on with it.
Dragons, are you ready for the alternative that everyone is waiting for?
SHE LAUGHS Bob's Box.
And I would welcome any questions
-or I would like you to perhaps have a go and take the challenge.
-Go on, Hilary.
-I'll have a go.
'Enthusiastic entrepreneur Bob Davis from Wolverhampton
'has certainly given his pitch a sense of occasion.'
-As you catch the balls, deposit them down the score tube.
'He's looking for £50,000 to start a new events business to launch his latest entertainment concept.'
-'On offer is a 20 percent equity stake.'
-'But leisure industry expert Deborah Meaden
'thinks she's seen it somewhere before.'
-Hello, Bob. Hi.
Erm, it's a very large bingo blower. Is there anything complicated in that?
Yes, it's not dissimilar to the Bernoulli principle
-that is part of what makes a...
-The what principle?
-The Bernoulli principle.
-Go on, what's the Bernoulli principle?
It's how an aircraft flies with lift and airflow going over.
So it's built. How much money have you made so far?
-We see taking this to market as a hire concept for...
-OK, how much does it hire for?
£600 a day. It's been used by a couple of exhibition companies,
twice by two TV production companies.
It's highly visual. We are ready to take it to market right now. That's where I need your help.
'A spirited plea from the determined businessman.
'But what of the financials? Hilary Devey wants to know.'
Bob, why £600 a day?
If you were organising an exhibition, you would pay £500 to £1,000
depending on what attraction you had on your stand.
This, at £600, fits into that market.
I see. So there's no scientific machination that led you to think
-you can gain £600 a day.
-No, it's just in the current marketplace...
Second question. Tell me a bit about yourself and your background.
I'm the MD of an event company. I'm known in the event trade as the car showroom king.
Whenever there's a car launch being facilitated, I'm an approved supplier for events.
I also had the licence and agreement with Thomas The Tank Engine for 15 years.
-The train, two carriages...
-THEO: And did you make good money out of that?
We used to charge £600 a day to hire it.
-Is everything £600 to hire for a day?
Bob, tell me, tell me, tell me, is it your events business
-or is it that?
-It's to set up a brand new company
that will market the game concept.
But the early forerunners of this machine,
which I have used in my corporate functions numerous times,
I don't think this is any different.
'The good-humoured atmosphere evaporates
'as doubts are cast on the uniqueness of Bob's invention.
'But Peter Jones is more concerned about the viability of the business itself.'
The big thing that I have is the issue over this separation, actually.
-Does your business have any debt in it? Do you make money?
Erm, we lost a little bit of money last year,
mainly due to the investment with this and I've built...
You've put money from a company to make it loss-making into a new entity.
You want to write off the debt in that old company to start a new company.
Peter, I didn't see it that way, of writing off any old debt. I wanted to give this a springboard...
But do you not think for one minute that perhaps if Unique Ideas have paid for all of this,
that Unique Ideas is everything to do with it?
How much would the new company have to pay back for what you've spent on this?
Nothing at all. I want to put that into the box, into the hat to start with.
OK. I'm going to be really quick. I'm a little disappointed in what you've just said
and there's a little bit of naivety in you. Rent this out for £600 a day if you can.
-But it's not an investable business and that's why I'm out.
-OK. Thank you.
'Bob's decision to create a new and separate company in a bid to attract investment backfires.
'And now Deborah Meaden has made up her mind, too.'
Bob, let me tell you where I am. I always say when I'm looking for an investment,
I'm looking for a good product with a good person.
Really, this is not a new product, it's not a new concept,
so as lovely as you are, I won't be investing in you. I'm out.
-Bob, if you really believe in this,
you've already got one, go out and do it.
So I'm going to wish you the real best of luck and I'll be watching out for you,
-but I'm out.
-Thank you, Theo.
'Two more Dragons out and Bob's initial exuberance has dampened.
'But Duncan Bannatyne has been unusually quiet.'
Bob, I want to ask you a little bit about your existing company.
-What kind of turnover and profit does that company make?
The last two years have been its worst two years.
-The turnover was £85,000 and £102,000.
Two years before that, it was £340,000.
So you've had this company and the turnover is going down and down and down. Why?
Because the first thing that got cut when things were going a little bit quieter was events, promotions.
-OK. How many companies are you involved with?
-Just the one.
-And all of a sudden, you want to form a second company, a new company?
So when you got the Thomas the Tank Engine contract,
-did you form a new company for that?
So why not put that in your existing company and say,
"I'll make some money from this as well as what we're doing already"?
Erm, there is no real total objection to that.
-There's no sense in separating it.
If I could have my time again and come up the stairs,
knowing what I've heard now,
if I'd have said to you, "This is a wonderful addition to my company..."
Go to the stairs and come back and say that to me.
Hello, Dragons, my name's Bob Davis and I'm here today to offer you a share in my company,
which is currently very successful in its own marketplace,
but we have a new product we want to launch. With your help in marketing, we can move this forward.
'A much more confident Bob has eagerly grasped the lifeline thrown to him by Duncan Bannatyne.
'Will the new combined business be a more valuable proposition for Hilary Devey?'
-I could see that working at a corporate event.
I could see that bringing to my own business's corporate event.
Have you done revenue projections on what £600 a day would give you?
We see two revenue streams of hire.
-Monday to Friday, this could go into any company for three days
at £600 and we will retain £500 ourselves every time it goes out.
-That's £1,500 a week.
Saturday and Sunday is retail environment, that's £1,000.
So one box will make £2,500 a week.
Times four weeks, that's £10,000.
I know the other Dragons are going to think I've lost my marbles,
but I loved being in the box, I like the concept of it.
I'm actually not just in logistics, but I'm also in the event industry.
So I'd like to make you an offer.
50K for 20 percent of your new product and of Unique Ideas, initially.
Once this product's launched and we're getting a return on it,
then I will reduce my equity stake to 15 percent.
'In a dramatic about-turn in fortunes,
'Bob finally gets an offer from an enthusiastic Hilary Devey.
'Will Duncan Bannatyne now choose to compete?'
I really wish that I could find a reason to invest in you.
You've got a fantastic offer. I can't beat the offer Hilary's made, anyway.
-I've got to say, I'm sorry, Bob, but I'm out.
-OK, thank you, Duncan.
-I look forward to working with you.
-'Bob's done it.
-'Not many get a second chance in the den,
'but he walks away with a well-connected new Dragon investor on board.'
So, Bob, I don't think I need to ask you whether you're happy with the offer you've got.
-I assume you are.
-I feel like I'm about to take the world on.
-Were you happy, in the end, to combine the two companies?
There are products as well as Bob's Box that can be moved along
-with the logistics and the background that Hilary has.
-Very well done.
'Entrepreneurs entering the den will often try and lure a Dragon with talk of large profits.
'But they must be realistic. Camilla Shaughnessy from Oxfordshire predicted a very rosy future
'for them all if she received £240,000 for her upmarket online accommodation agency.'
We specialise in providing privately-owned accommodation in and around events,
events being any of the large events that we know and love in the UK.
If people want to list their properties with us, we take 15 percent of the booking fee.
'At first, she and the Dragons seemed to have quite a lot in common.'
-So this started from you deciding to rent out your house, is that right?
We live in a fabulous home and then we have a summer house
and then we have a pool and we have a bit of land with it
and it's just a nice weekend retreat.
'But it was discussion around her forecasted figures that meant separation was inevitable.'
-For the first financial year, it's going to be how much?
-We've had about six bookings.
£239,000 loss. The following calendar year, we're looking to make
-I don't understand. You take 15 percent commission.
Is your £938,000 turnover?
-That's what we make in managed booking fees.
-You've got six bookings today?
-And next year, you're going to turn over £15 million worth of bookings?
'Duncan Bannatyne did spring to Camilla's defence on one point.'
I think if you turn over £15 million and you get 15 percent, it's a lot more than £986,000.
-I think your turnover's going to be £7 million.
-Oh, sorry. You're right.
-Any more questions on numbers just come to me.
-Duncan's right, but I'll still say it again.
You've got six bookings today
-and next year, you're going to book £7 million worth of tariff.
'In the end, Peter Jones summed up the mood in the den.'
To scale a business like that...
..you're going to need a lot more than £240,000.
-You're going to need millions. So that's why I'm out.
Next in the den is former car dealer Fraser Allen
who thinks he has the perfect answer to a stress-free holiday.
But he's only offering five percent equity in his business,
which doesn't sound like the perfect answer to a stress-free negotiation with the Dragons.
Hello. My name's Fraser Allen.
I'm looking for investment of £150,000
for a five percent equity stake in My Sea Safe.
I'd like you to picture the scene.
You're on holiday, relaxing on a sun lounger.
You want to go for a swim. Everyone has the same old problem.
What do you do with your valuables? Put them in your shoe?
In your sock? Under the towel? Hide them in the sand? We've all done it.
These items can now be securely stored in My Sea Safe.
It's a brand new, unique product that attaches to sun loungers
to deter the opportunist thief from stealing your valuables.
I work for a property and investment company based in London
and I've had absolutely no experience in the hospitality or leisure industry.
After doing some research, we decided to attend two exhibitions in New York and Las Vegas.
This gave us the opportunity to meet on a one-to-one basis
hotel buyers and procurement officers.
The response we got was amazing. The majority of people said they'd never seen anything like it
and it was something they could definitely use within their hotels.
With your investment, we're hoping to move forward into full production
to buy the additional tooling whilst also helping us with our marketing and our advertising campaign.
We're also hoping you can help us with the logistics and the distribution that we require.
That's it. If there's any questions or comments, I'd be pleased to try and answer them.
'A business-like if nervy pitch from property developer Fraser Allen.
'In exchange for just five percent equity, he needs £150,00
'to launch his detachable safe for sun loungers.
'Peter Jones is eager to start questioning the London-based entrepreneur.'
-Fraser, my first question, what do you think it will be?
-Can you get into it?
-You asked for £150,000...
-For five percent, correct.
-So £3 million you value this product at.
We actually value it more than that, Peter. THEO LAUGHS
-You clearly have, I'm assuming, sold a lot, then.
-No, we haven't sold any.
How many do you think, then, you need to sell
to make your company worth £3 million?
We projected that we'd sell 150,000 units in the first year.
-What's the price on each product?
And they cost us about 10 US to make
-So you're making 20 US.
-Approximately per unit.
That's 3 million US gross.
DUNCAN: Amazing money.
I should be a billionaire. I should have Fraser in my buying department,
in my inventing department. Anywhere. I've been doing it all wrong.
'An awkward first exchange as Fraser is met with a sceptical response.
'Will he fare any better under the scrutiny of Deborah Meaden?'
The valuation, I have to tell you,
to come in and ask for £150,000 for five percent...
Actually, that could make us all sit up and listen
because things like that happen in the den
and usually it's followed by this amazing thing
that is going to change the world but is very early stage,
-or is further down the line but has track record behind it.
-Which bit does that fit into?
-It doesn't fit into either of those categories.
-So what are you in here for?
-One thing was the investment
-and the other thing was the knowledge and expertise of getting...
You value our knowledge and our experience so much
that you're going to offer us five percent of your company
if we'll pay you £150,000, all of the cash that it's going to take to finish this product,
and then give you our experience and our contacts
to turn this into a business that actually works?
I understand what you're saying, but you've got to remember, we do believe in the product.
-You're asking me for investment.
-You're asking me to put in £150,000.
-You're asking me to put in my expertise.
Do you think that is a really good way for me to spend my £150,000
-and my time for five percent?
I started off with a figure that we believed in.
-And I know you laughed...
-Fraser, I won't be investing, so I'm out.
-OK. Thank you.
'An irritated Deborah Meaden refuses to do business with the self-assured entrepreneur.
'Theo Paphitis tries a different tack.'
-How much money have you put in this?
-Our property company's money.
You've got a very rich property company.
Well, it's something that we believed in, Theo, to be honest.
-What's your business called?
-Who owns Trademark?
Terry McMillan, who's in partnership with me in My Sea Safe.
OK. My view is...
This has got to be a bet.
Somebody in your organisation said,
"Why don't you go pitch them something stupid
"at three million quid in valuation
"and let's see if you can turn it".
OK, I understand what you're saying, but our company accountant went through the figures with us.
We did research going round the world, meeting hoteliers, procurement officers,
so we thought there was a market for it.
And I appreciate what you guys are saying,
but to us, when we actually met the people who buy the products, they told us there was.
'Fraser is keeping a remarkably cool head under mounting pressure in the den.
'Now Duncan Bannatyne wants to focus on the product itself.'
Let me just ask you a question.
You said, "Imagine you're on a beach" and I assume it's a crowded beach.
-Imagine you're a professional thief.
You're looking round a beach and you think,
-"Which sun bed will have the most money?"
-Oh, there's one where that blue thing's padlocked onto it.
I could leap on the beach, cut that off...
-How would you cut it off?
-Well, I would have something with me if I was a professional thief.
-I think the product doesn't work.
-I don't think it'd safeguard your valuables.
-But the main thing I'm thinking is that this is definitely in the top ten
-worst things that ever came in Dragons' Den.
-Fraser, listen to me.
It's definitely in the top ten. Maybe even top five. We could have a vote on that.
-You're certainly the top ten.
It's not worth £3, let alone £3 million, and I'm out.
OK. I hope to prove you wrong at some stage, but I can appreciate what you're saying.
Fraser, what you had is an employer that had a few bob to chuck away
and he said, "I know what we'll do. Fraser seems like a good guy. Let him run with the project."
I hope it's not like that, Hilary, and I don't believe it is.
-Is he prepared to put any more money into it?
-Oh, yeah, he will do.
-Then what are you doing here?
-Because we believe in the product.
If you believe in the product, walk down them stairs
-and say, "We've had it, mate. We need to find another 150 grand and quick."
-Cos, Fraser, you seem like a really nice bloke, but I'm out.
'Fraser loses his third Dragon
'and the tension is starting to show.
'Will Peter Jones throw him the financial lifeline he badly needs.'
-You're taking a lot of hits here.
-Yeah, just a bit.
And I think you're withholding them well.
-The mistake is this valuation, and I think that should've been thought about.
You needed to come in with something of substance that would actually have said,
"I tell you what, I've got now this product, it's in prototype
"and that's the reason why I'm asking you for £150,000 cos I've run out of cash,
"I can't afford to buy these products and get it to market."
Because you haven't,
you've not made the right impression.
And that's the reason why I personally am not going to invest.
-So that's why I'm going to say I'm out.
That just leaves me, I'm your last hope, Fraser.
Erm, when you deal with people, it's about having winners. Everybody has to leave the party with a balloon.
-If one person doesn't leave with a balloon...
And this was not a party that I would leave with a balloon.
Without even going through the product, you automatically lost me.
-So, Fraser, I'm out.
'Pitching such a small percentage of your business can rile even the most generous-spirited of Dragons.
'Once he had done that, Fraser faced an uphill struggle. He leaves with nothing.'
The valuation that we put on our product I thought was a very reasonable figure.
They didn't and it was very difficult after that to get them back.
It's been my little baby now for two years. I'm going to fight my corner cos I believe in it.
'Many fledgling entrepreneurs who walk up those stairs
'have invented a solution to an everyday problem in their own lives.
'That was true of Surrey-based Sampson Dukabyagbena
'who asked for a £190,000 investment in his handheld steam-controlled shaving aid.'
I have sensitive skin and come up in rashes.
One out of four white males and two out of three black males
come out with one form of shaving discomfort,
and that could be anything from shaving rash, in-growing hair and razor burn.
'At first, there was a jovial atmosphere in the den.'
-What does it feel like, Duncan? And can you see?
-It feels like you put the kettle on
and the kettle's boiling and you're standing over it.
'But as usual, it wasn't long before the Dragons brought it back to business.'
-You said one in four men suffer from skin irritation after they shave?
So how many of those can't solve the problem by putting some aftershave cream on their face?
I don't look at it that way, actually.
No. I look at things in a way that makes money...
-..that makes profit, that's a business that's realistic. That's the way you should be looking at it.
'Sampson did succeed in uniting the rival investors
'but sadly not in gaining their investment.'
You're dealing with a subject that is incredibly close to most men's hearts.
-Yes, it is.
-You're not going to crack it using technology that already exists.
That's not a product that's going to make you a fortune.
It's as quick just to boil a kettle. You've got a bowl, boil a kettle, pour that in
and just put your head over the top of that. That costs you nothing.
There's a lot of hassle in filling that with water,
plugging it in for three minutes and sticking it on your face.
It honestly is a complete and utter waste of time. Forget it.
-Drop it and go and do something else with your life. I'm out.
'So far in the den, only one entrepreneur has convinced a Dragon to invest.'
-I look forward to working with you.
'If you want to find out why Hilary Devey chose to back Bob and his new box...'
-'..you can press the red button at the end of the programme.'
The Dragons sit through scores of pitches from entrepreneurs each year.
So it's important to make yours stand out.
Next into the den is Marcela Flores Newburn, originally from Monterrey in Mexico,
who thinks her business has real potential, as well as an eye-catching presentation.
Hola! My name is Marcela. I'm the founder of Rico Mexican Kitchen
and today I've got for you some delicious food to try. So let's get some Mexican flavours going.
THEY PLAY MEXICAN MUSIC
# Full of flavours dipped in Aztec history
# The food of my native Mexico
# Taste of sunshine and mountains and seas
# Taste of salsas and juices and beans
# Come and taste some salsas with me
# Marcela's Mexican Kitchen, the tamale queen
ALL: # Marcela's Mexican Kitchen, the tamale queen
Did you know that the Mexican food market was worth 250 million last year,
and is growing at a rate of ten percent per annum?
During the last two years, I have developed an award-winning range
that has been inspired in my childhood in sunny Mexico.
Zingy, tangy salsa verde,
salsa roja, beans,
and to accompany that, a range of agua fresca juices,
and, my favourite, tamales.
It's been going in Mexico for 4,000 years and in Latin America.
Completely new concept in the UK, and adored in the US, as well.
So, I'm offering you on a plate a 20 percent slice of my business
for an investment of £75,000,
to establish the brand and grow my business.
Thank you for listening. Gracias, Mariachi Mexteca.
-I welcome your questions.
-Can we try some of your food?
'A vivacious pitch that garners a positive reaction from the Dragons.
'Marcela Flores Newburn, accompanied by her Mariachi band,
'have asked for £75,000 to turn her range of Mexican dips, drinks and snacks into a household name.'
-There you go, sir.
-Is it chicken?
-Mild salsa, salsa verde or extra hot.
'Having sampled her fare, Hilary Devey brings the den back to business.'
-Tell me about yourself, your journey, how you started.
Er, well, before I started the business, I've been a teacher,
and I also, er, studied music,
and I decided that it was about time
that we brought some real, authentic Mexican food into the UK.
And then I started knocking on doors
and Harrods and Selfridges started stocking my products very early on, erm...
-And how long have you been trading?
-Two and a half years.
-So you've filed some accounts already?
-What did those accounts say?
So far, I have sold £50,000.
-And my projection this year is 370.
'A confident start and some ambitious projections.
'Duncan Bannatyne is next to cross-examine the likeable entrepreneur.'
What makes you think you're going to jump from £50,000 per year to £370,000?
-What's going to cause that?
-Well, er, recently we have secured two new distributors
and we have secured a launch with Waitrose, as well.
OK. So tell me about the launch.
It's about the fresh juices
-and it's 100 stores.
-When does your product go in those stores?
-In end of this summer.
-What's so special about your juices, Marcela?
The pineapple lemon chilli, there's nothing currently available in the market.
The mango, lime and chilli, as well. And hibiscus is good for certain cardiovascular illnesses.
And you'll just put them on the shelves?
-Are you putting some promotion behind it? Have you got advertising?
-We are discussing that.
I have an advisor that I met in January and he's an expert in growth
and he has developed companies from scratch
and he's got a really strong background in fresh foods.
-Is he here today?
-Did you want to bring him up?
'Marcela's impressive expansion plans go down well in the den.
'Will the recruitment of an experienced retail expert
'help convince the Dragons to invest?'
-Who are you?
-My name's Tim Sutton.
OK. Tim, you've got the product listed in Waitrose now.
There doesn't seem to be a marketing plan. It's just going on the shelves, right?
Er, no, we've got a meeting to go and talk through with the buyer the marketing plan.
Packaging will be key, as it always is. Because people make decisions in the store.
And then Marcela has some ideas and plans on promotional activity.
OK. Erm, last question from me.
-Have you got any product in Waitrose today?
-Not currently, no. Not yet.
Have you got any product in Selfridges today?
-What have you got?
-I've got the five salsas.
-How have they been selling?
-We sell around 100 a month.
-So, just over three a day?
-My best customer is Whole Foods Market.
-What do they sell for you?
They sell the five salsas and the tamales.
And what's their rate of sale?
-We sell around a thousand products a month.
-So there's nothing of any great volume at the moment?
No. But I knew that I wanted to create a range of products
and so I started with salsas at home,
and now that we are where we are,
the volume starts to kick in.
'Marcela's range may be sizeable, but her sales are still small.
'Will Peter Jones see a promising future for her food business?'
-Tim, Marcela, hi, I'm Peter.
-Do you think Rico as a brand name is a good name?
Erm, rico means taste in Spanish.
My kids named it because they think their mum's cooking is very rico.
-I'm thinking of anything else but Mexican when I think of Rico.
If you think about Old El Paso,
I'm not suggesting the brand is but a name, but actually,
-it completely summarises the whole of that product range, doesn't it?
One of the things Marcela wants to invest the money in is actually refreshing the design.
The brand is all about Marcela.
She's an authentic, enthusiastic ambassador for Mexican food.
-And seen by the retailers...
-Tim, it's not called Marcela's Mexican Kitchen.
That's what we want to look at rebranding it as.
It's got to be early days in the business when you don't know what the brand is.
No, well, currently it's Rico Mexican Kitchen and it's...
-But it's not working.
-Cos you're talking about changing it.
I'm not saying it's not working,
I say that, through this time, I have learned that it can be improved.
Er, Marcela, I'm not going to invest my money at this time, so I'm out.
'An unconvinced Duncan Bannatyne walks away from the deal.
'And marketing expert Deborah Meaden is now ready to have her say.'
I tell you where I think you are. I think the product's good, I like all of those things.
There's a but. I think there's quite a big step between doing what you're doing at the moment
and taking it into the big supermarkets.
If I were you, I would concentrate on selling more
to the more individual stores until you get yourself a little bit more branded.
So I'm afraid, for that reason, I'm out.
Marcela, you've got drinks, salsas,
and then you're making a jump
to cooked foods and snacks, which is another market altogether.
You're working in a very specific, specialist area with one particular retailer that suits you,
and can cope with you, more importantly.
And if I was you I would concentrate on one good product,
but also, you would need a lot more than £75,000.
I can't invest in it as it is at the moment, I'm sorry. So I'm out.
I think your 75K, I think you can multiply that by ten
and you might just about get there.
Well, this is, you know, to get us to the next level, which is...
But then what happens in three months,
when we come to next season and you say, "Well, I now need another 75K"? You know, where are we then?
-So, I'm sorry, I've got to say, I'm out.
'Three more Dragons out,
'but Peter Jones has experience in this sector.'
Marcela and Tim. When you walked in, all the band playing,
I was thinking, "I wonder if this is the next Levi Roots?"
I think you've done really well to get to the stage of where you're at.
I do like it.
I actually think you've got to go back as a start-up again.
Because you need that brand.
So I would go back to your roots and find that name.
I hope that today has been a good learning curve.
-On that basis, I'm not going to invest, and I'm going to say I'm out.
-Good luck, guys.
-Good luck, Marcela. Well done, Tim.
'After a promising start, Marcela and Tim failed to convince the Dragons
'that their range has enough financial promise. They leave with nothing.
'Other entrepreneurs who tried and failed in the den
'included Cornwall-based inventor Chris O'Connell who was looking for £75,000
'to launch his artificial ski-matting business.'
Pro Slope is a new, synthetic, snow-sports material.
It has the holes filled in so there's no breakages of thumbs and fingers
traditionally associated with dry slopes.
'Former British snow-tour champion Samantha Rogers demonstrated the product...
'...before Chris demonstrated its market potential.'
-If we take the leading player in the market...
-What was their annualised turnover last year?
They just completed a job in the US which was valued at 7.7 million.
'But Chris couldn't demonstrate proof of a need for his new invention.'
How big is this issue about falling over and breaking your fingers or hurting yourself?
-I can only go on anecdotal evidence because...
-OK. Stop there, cos...
-SHE LAUGHS That means nothing.
-..that's not evidence.
So when do you think you are going to have the statistical information that says, "This is suitable..."
Probably within three months.
As much as I like the idea, until you get that information, you're not going to be able to sell this.
And as an investor, I'm not going to invest in it. I'm out.
'Tyneside-based mother and daughter Shirley and Hayley Smith
'wanted £50,000 to expand their local ceramics cafe.'
Customers come into our cafe, choose a piece of pottery
from the 600 pieces that we have, paint and enjoy a pancake.
-'The Dragons were impressed by the detail of their handiwork...'
-I've got stripy socks.
'..but not by the detail of their business.'
-So it's a shop and a cafe.
We also have developed a pottery by post package
and we've just secured a contract with Collectables to supply plates and mugs.
And I've got a few flats that I rent. And also, we own the building. It's also the flat upstairs.
-Who lives there?
-A lady called Brenda.
-OK. This is probably too confusing for me so I'll leave it.
'In the end, it was their contrasting ambitions
'that put a stop to Shirley and Hayley's investment dreams.'
I'm quite grounded. Hayley's off trying to get new business everywhere.
And I just puddle along, running the shop.
Hayley, your mum is very happy with her pancake shop.
You have got ants in your pants. But, obviously, you're massively entrepreneurial.
Just do me a big, big favour.
When you leave the den, spend some serious time out and focus your life.
-If you plan it, you specifically will get there. I'm out.
Experienced businessman Robert Lewis from West Sussex is next in the den,
with an invention he hopes will open up a new market worldwide turning thin air into hard cash.
But first he needs an investment from one of the Dragons.
Hi, my name is Robert. My company is Roller Signs and I'm here today to seek an investment of £100,000
for ten percent equity in my company.
I've brought along today the Roller Signs banner cassette and a retractable belt barrier.
The banner cassette has been designed to retrofit
the tens of millions of retractable belt barriers that can be found worldwide.
From airports to movie theatres, retail,
what was otherwise dead space is now transformed to high-impact media.
To date, we've sold in excess of 1,000 units
through our resellers and direct.
I hope you like the product. I hope I've explained it clearly enough and I look forward to your questions.
'A pithy pitch from father of four Robert Lewis.
'Having created a new space for advertisers,
'he needs a £100,000 investment
'and is prepared to give away a ten percent equity stake.
'What will retails expert Theo Paphitis make of his innovation?'
Robert, I want to have a look at this because it does look cumbersome.
-It's meant to control crowds?
First thing we've got to look at is what happens when someone leans on it. Not bad.
That's got some movement. So if we can take it up... How does that go up?
-Like a normal blind?
-A normal blind, yup.
-And can I do...
..that? It's off.
And it's designed to
go in neatly...
..on the side of the barrier, Which is a big benefit for cafe owners, et cetera,
because it's neat, tidy and clean.
-OK. Well, this is great. So you've got a product?
-What do you sell them for?
-The retail is 189.
-And that's including the printed banner?
-That's including the printed banner.
Very important element of the business plan is that the customer has to come back to Roller Signs,
-for either a complete banner, or the joining strips.
-And how much will you make out of each banner that you do?
If we sell a banner for £60, at the moment we're paying £22.50 for a banner.
'A good start from the experienced businessman.
'Multiple revenue streams always go down well in the den.
'Now Hilary Devey wants to focus on the financials.'
-Hi, Robert, my name's Hilary.
-I've got to say, I like it.
Anywhere you can utilise space for advertising is good.
Talk to me about numbers. How have you traded?
We've turned over about £82,000 to date. 40,000 of that has been put back into the business.
So your main outlet for this product is cinemas, airports...
We supply many different areas. Our customers include Ben and Jerry's, The National Trust,
we also supply to a large pub and bar chain.
Have you approached the major retailers where they have queue barriers?
We are in the process of... The UK's largest major drug store we are in discussion with at the moment.
So we're getting great demand for the product now.
'Robert's certainly holding his own in the den.
'Duncan Bannatyne is next to question the confident entrepreneur.'
-Robert, you mentioned a lot of places where you could sell your product.
-And one of them was airports.
-But you haven't sold any to an airport, have you?
We haven't sold any to an airport. If I may say, Duncan, in the early days I appointed the company to sell,
they were involved with the airline industry. That relationship did not work out.
So you tried and you had a problem. Tell me about your problems trying to get these into airports.
I have not focused on the airports
because we believe, although there is a big opportunity with the airports,
we've had success elsewhere and there's only been so much I've...
Hold on a minute. No, no, no, now, Robert, you're not making sense.
-You had somebody from the airline industry, is that what you just said?
So why did they not go to their home market, where their contacts are and sell this into the airports?
The airline industry are controlled by the big outdoor companies.
OK. Who have you talked to in the airports and what have they said?
No, I... Deborah, I don't know because the two guys who were airline-connected,
they were unable to get the right contacts within the airports.
That's a terrible answer, Robert.
Deborah, to enable myself to keep generating revenue,
I've appointed resellers to cover Spain and France,
a reseller in the US, who is just about to take two container-loads of products.
Do you know, I feel like you've got a shield up and you're deflecting
-the only answer that I'm trying to get to.
-I want to understand why you haven't...
We haven't had the resources to go in
and properly attack that market.
We... I... To be fair...
-Did you just say to Deborah two containers are about to go to America?
-Which will make you how much?
-30 a unit and 4,000 units. But, the...
-Is that right? You're making 120,000 on that consignment?
Correct. The US distributor will order two container-loads of products.
-I have emails and paperwork to back that up.
-Do you know, I'm going to have to see the email.
I haven't got it on me. It's on my computer. But, you know, there is a substantial demand for the product.
OK. Stop there, Robert. I would have thought that was a really important piece of paper.
-Well, you get the picture, unfortunately that you've built up...
-I do, I do.
-Stop talking over me.
'A disastrous exchange. Robert manages to alienate one Dragon.
'But there are still four multi-millionaires left in.
'Will Duncan Bannatyne be more forgiving?'
Robert, I'll tell you where I am.
It's ridiculous. I don't think there's a big sales route. I could make you an offer
subject to an order that doesn't exist. But that would be wasting my time and your time.
My time is more important. That's why I'm not going to make you an offer. For that reason, I'm out.
Appreciate your time.
Robert, I think it's a good product.
I complimented you on the design and what it does.
-So I was quite impressed.
..I can't invest in it. And the reason, Robert, is you.
You've snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
I wish you the best of luck, but I'm out.
'Two more Dragons out.
'Now only Peter Jones and Hilary Devey can rescue Robert's hopes
'of gaining the £100,000 investment he badly needs.'
I like it. And I think you have a good product.
If you'd brought that piece of paper into the den that had shown and demonstrated
that you had this commitment for an order that would produce 120,000 worth of profit,
I'm going to tell you that I would have personally invested in the business and you.
I appreciate that that was a real, erm, a real mistake.
We have an order for two containers. I can confirm that. And that order will come through.
-What would you stake on that?
-I'd stake 100 percent.
-You'd stake your reputation?
My whole reputation. I don't want to lose you.
-I know that with your expertise, and the whole company environment...
-I get that.
-But you would stake everything on the fact you've got that order?
-100 percent. 100 percent.
So it's interesting you picked that number.
I'm going to make you an offer...
..for 100 percent of your business for £100,000...
..on the back of this order being proved.
And when this order is proved,
I'll drop my stake to 49 percent.
'Drama in the den.
'Peter Jones may have offered Robert an investment lifeline, but it comes at a cost.
'On proof of an email, nearly half the business.
'With just one Dragon left, will he be able to negotiate himself a better deal?'
I'll make you an offer.
and I will scale it down...
..to 45 percent on the same basis that Peter is doing.
100 percent I have no problem with. I have a problem with the scaling down.
Because, obviously, I want to retain a larger part of my company
-cos I think it will be...
-I'm offering you a larger part.
I've come in here offering ten percent, so...
But that was off the wall because, you know, you're valuing your business at a million pound.
OK. Peter, is there any room for movement with your offer?
No, I can't, because, if we're going to do this together, I want shared success.
And if I'm doing shared success and financing it, I think I deserve 49 percent.
Hilary, I really appreciate your offer.
I have done my research before coming here
and I fully appreciate that you're a hugely successful individual.
I've also rolled out my own UK business into a global brand.
I never came here to walk away without an investment, cos it was very important to me.
And taking into consideration that that order can be backed up, I would like to accept Peter's offer.
-Thank you very much.
-Fabulous. Thank you.
-'Robert has done it. It's a lot to give away...'
-Thank you very much.
-Well done, Robert.
-'..but it does secure an influential business partner in the form of Peter Jones.'
-Well done, Mr Jones!
Well, Robert, we've just witnessed a quite extraordinary encounter. 100 percent of the business?
Very, very odd. But I know that that order will come through. And so I have no issues at all.
You didn't mention two container-loads going to the States
-till quite a long way through the presentation?
-It's the pressure of the den.
I'm sure we can now go forward and it'll be a fantastic success.
-Very, very good luck.
-Thank you very much.
Another day in the den draws to a close,
and the Dragons once again show it's a tough place to do business
and an even tougher place for negotiation.
Robert Lewis has made an extraordinary deal,
proving to get what you want, you have to take some almighty risks.
If you'd like to find out why Peter Jones chose to invest in Robert, press the red button now,
where you'll find exclusive post-den reaction. Goodbye.
-'Next time on Dragons' Den...'
-I don't get it.
-Is there any substance behind this business?
Or is it just you two in trackies, talking?
Give me a chance and I'll make magic products the world will buy, I promise you.
I've just seen a person present, eloquently, a chair with a hole in it and a bin liner.
And wants £50,000 for it.
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