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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.
Can I speak my mind? I think you've been so stupid.
I wish you the best of luck,
but as investor, I think I'd lose my shirt.
The maximum you've made is £13,000.
How am I ever going to see any of my £50,000?
I consider this quite a punt, but I am going to make you an offer.
Weakey, weakey, weakey, weakey, whoo!
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 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 Dragons' Den.
In difficult times, more and more people are turning to business
as a way of earning a living.
The Den is the forum where deals are done
and entrepreneurs secure the investment they so desperately need.
But only if they can persuade any of our Dragons
to part with their cash.
Pitching in the Den can change lives,
but only if investment is secured.
Let's see how our first entrepreneurs get on.
Hello, Dragons. My name's Nick. This is Richard and Sebastian.
We're looking for £50,000 in exchange for 15 percent of our business.
Bar Mate, like some good ideas,
is the result of an evening in the pub in my student days.
It was four-deep at the bar and I wondered, "Why does it take so long to get served?"
I watched the bar staff and I realised that they spend most of their time holding the glass.
I thought there was a huge efficiency gap there.
If we designed something to hold the glass for them,
that would free up their time so they could do other things.
I got in touch with Seb, a product designer,
and he'll explain where we are now.
You take the pint glass, you lift up the tap, put the glass in.
I can then go and take payment,
and come back and the glass has taken care of itself and poured it to a predetermined level.
I can come back and simply top it up.
Our market is pubs, but in particular managed pubs, of which there are 9,000 in the UK.
Each will typically have between ten and 20 taps that this is suitable for.
That means a market between 90 and 180,000 units.
Thank you for listening to us. We're happy to answer any questions.
Penetrating a market as established as the pub trade is a tough ask,
even with the most innovative of inventions.
But that's what assured trio Nick, Richard and Sebastian believe they can do.
In return for 15 percent of their company,
they need £50,000 to take their prototype automated bar tap into production.
Peter Jones is first to scrutinise the opportunity on offer.
Guys, hi, I'm Peter.
Before I start talking about that product, I want to talk about you.
-A product designer by trade.
-Richard, what do you do?
-I used to work in investment
and for the last five years I ran a biotech company, up to the end of last year.
-I'm an architect. I've got a small practice of four people in Central London.
OK. When I look at the product,
I mean, I've worked in a bar, what you tend to see with barmen,
they put the glass down, pull the tap and get other drinks.
They keep an eye on it, flick the tap and come back to it.
They're multi-tasking anyway.
So, how can you convince me that somebody's going to replace an existing tap?
The current system of trying to manage that without having flat beer,
because if you pour into the glass from a height, it foams everywhere,
so what they currently do is raise the glass to the correct height.
Typically, they take a pint glass, reverse it and stick another on top,
-which isn't a realistic solution.
And what do you think you'll be able to sell that for?
We plan to sell it for a unit price of £90.
We think it'll take about two months to recoup its costs for the pubs.
We've been to Wetherspoons and their biggest complaint is customer waiting time,
and they're interested in this.
-They'd spend £90?
-They're already spending
-between £30 and £70 on a normal tap, anyway.
It's early days for the business,
but such interest from a major chain of pubs
is bound to be of interest to an investor.
Former football club chairman Theo Paphitis
is next to question the confident trio.
Guys, hello, I'm Theo.
I've had to manage a business where you only had a very short window
to get all your customers through,
half time, just before the game,
and the biggest problem was speed of delivery of the beer.
Now, really, how much time are you saving?
If you look at managed pubs, when you have very busy times, you might have four deep at the bar,
someone walks up and asks for five pints of lager,
they hold the first pint, they put it down,
they hold the second... This is a long process.
It takes, on average, 19 seconds to pour a pint.
That's minutes. It frees the barman up to do other things.
Nick, Richard, Sebastian, hi, I'm Deborah.
This £90, how far have you got with establishing how that would be made, the material it would be made in?
We've a complete quote for its manufacture
and we've made allowances for the cost of shipping, VAT.
And of the £90, there's also a cut for distribution.
We've worked out that gives us a good gross profit.
What are they going to cost you to make?
We'd have a gross profit of 75 percent on the £90.
-We'd have a gross profit of 75 percent on the £90.
Poised responses and a potentially profitable product,
the entrepreneurs are putting on a good performance in the Den.
But Hilary Devey looks to have something on her mind.
Guys, I've been in and out of pubs all my life,
and I was pulling pints,
illegally, from the age of six, seven years of age!
To be honest, if I'd got bar staff that couldn't add up the order in their head,
open a bottle, put it on the counter,
pour a spirit or a glass of wine and then deliver the pint,
frankly, I'd think they were badly trained bar staff.
I've got to say, I'm out.
It's a first blow for the trio.
Will Duncan Bannatyne agree with his rival's concerns?
I think you guys are great and I'd love to invest with you,
but if this really does work,
all you need is to get one of the big brewery chains involved, work with them,
giving them first advantage where they get the first order
or give them a licence, I'm sure they'll snap your hand off.
But it's not for me and for that reason, I'm out.
Guys, I think it's a great, inventive product.
I think it's nicely designed.
I'm concerned about the cost.
I think that when you go into negotiations to replace the taps,
you'll end up almost having to give it away at cost.
I'm going to decline the investment because of the margin pressure I think it will come under
when you try to put it into the market.
I wish you the best of luck, but I'm going to say I'm out.
Two more Dragons out.
Can leisure industry expert Deborah Meaden
find a reason to invest?
One of the issues with speed pouring is, you get an awful lot of wastage.
-How does this affect that?
-You don't have wastage because you set the level the pint stops at.
So if you happen to have a barrel at a slightly different pressure
and you find it's frothing over, you can adjust it.
Where do you adjust that?
It's a simple ring to adjust the pressure that it comes out at.
-Have you got a patent?
It's a UK patent and it covers the notion of a device
which holds a glass at an angle, which declines as you fill it,
and activates a valve to stop the filling.
-And who owns the patent?
-And would you be prepared to transfer that into the company?
Guys, has anybody said
they will give you an order if this works?
We have a pub chain who's willing to trial it.
-There's 15 pubs.
Obviously, they'd start with a smaller number to test it,
and roll it out if it was successful.
Wetherspoons said they would trial it in their headquarters on site.
Listen, I think it's, erm...
It's a good idea and I could see the minute you showed it,
I could see how it would work with the weight and everything else.
Erm... I'm going to make you an offer.
The full money, but I'd want 25 percent.
At last, Nick, Richard and Sebastian have the offer they came in for,
but for nearly twice as much as they initially wanted to give away.
With one Dragon remaining,
will they be able to negotiate themselves a better deal?
I consider this quite a punt.
It's early. You take it out there and somebody says,
"We've got one of these that does that."
But I am going to make you an offer.
I'm going to make you an offer for half of the money,
actually on the same terms that Theo was talking about.
So we've now got two decisions to be made.
Does the Dragon to my right, would he consider taking a partner?
And would you consider taking that offer?
We'd quite like to go into a huddle and talk about the offer.
It's an unusual occurrence in the Den.
The entrepreneurs still only have one full offer on the table for 25 percent.
Will they choose Theo Paphitis on his own,
try and convince him to partner with Deborah,
or will they choose to go with no Dragons at all?
(My legs hurt!)
Er... If you were to share your investment with Deborah,
so that there's less capital at risk for either of you,
we would like to suggest that you both invested £25,000 each for 10 percent each,
so overall, 20 percent rather than 25 percent.
That's really good logic,
but it's such a small percentage to have.
My logic says,
if you've got two Dragons,
especially with Deborah's experience in pubs, clubs and marketing,
maybe the right figure should be 30 percent...
..so we've got 15 percent each.
Think about that. If you've got two Dragons,
what that gives you is a lot more firepower.
Deborah, how would you feel about that?
Absolutely. I'd be happy with that.
-I preferred our huddle!
-It was nicer.
Is your original offer still on the table?
-Thank you very much.
(They could come down with the equity because they're sharing the risk.)
-(I think we should take it.)
THEY WHISPER INAUDIBLY
(We didn't come just for the money.)
We would like to take the offer of 30 percent, split between Theo and Deborah.
-We didn't come just for the money.
Well done, fella.
-We didn't want to be home-wreckers!
Nick, Richard and Sebastian have done it.
For 30 percent of their business, they've gained £50,000
and two multi-millionaire business partners.
It seemed counter-intuitive to give away more,
but we got two Dragons and that's got to be better than one!
I think we might go for a drink!
-Then Seb's got to make the production version.
Incorporate a company for the five of us.
There's five in this marriage!
Many entrepreneurs believe the key to success in the Den
is to get the Dragons to experience at firsthand their business, service or product.
This was true of Jacqui Thompson from Lincolnshire,
who wanted a £50,000 investment
in her police-themed educational workshops.
Pulse was created in 2008
as a way to engage children into liking science in a fun way.
What I would like to do is to take you into my world of CSI.
With all five Dragons turning into crime-scene investigators...
..the Den found itself embroiled in a different kind of enquiry.
This is our crime scene.
What we've got is, a fatality has happened in the Den.
Duh, duh, duhh!
It looks like somebody had an ice cream, whilst the attacker had a cigarette.
They tried to rob them of their CD information.
They missed the £10, but hit them over the head with a bottle.
THEO: Who sells ice cream?
Or who sold ice cream?
-Upon initial inspection...
..Theo Paphitis applauded Jacqui's business concept.
I think the theory of it is excellent.
Teaching kids to learn through things that they're interested in,
as opposed to sitting in class, would've done me the world of good at school.
But problems soon arose
as the Dragons forensically examined the business model.
-Can I ask what you charge for this?
-Based on a year group of about 120,
it works out at 1,495.
Can you talk me through the mechanics,
what turnover you're expecting?
Er... First year,
I turned over £16,000.
Last year, £34,000
with a net profit of £13,000.
The maximum you made is £13,000.
How am I ever going to see any of my £50,000 back?
It's not a scalable business at all.
It's wholly dependent on yourself, and if you get knocked down by that proverbial bus tomorrow,
bang goes our investment.
The Dragons have been asked to invest in some very large products in the past,
but Bola Lafe, who was a finance manager for a global bank,
is offering up one of the smallest.
Of course, as long as the profits are big enough, the Dragons won't mind.
Hello, I'm Bola Lafe, managing director of Opus Innovations Ltd.
I'm the inventor of the Cleebo baby and kids nasal mucus tweezers.
I'm here to ask for £50,000 in exchange for 10 percent of the business.
The pitch won't be based on the tweezers,
although I have another number of products,
but the first thing is the tweezers.
We've got two children. When the first was about four months old,
she often had a blocked nose and an uneasy time at night trying to breathe.
We were paranoid about putting her to bed.
Children and small babies cannot blow their noses, as we all know,
and these are a way of removing the solid and semi-solid mucus.
Once it's blocked, a lot of parents, and I know most of you are parents,
they actually stick dangerous implements up their noses.
To demonstrate them...
And because of the shape of them, you can't go up too far.
The main thing with these is safety.
Our plan is to make this global
and make sure every parent with a small child
has a pair of Cleebo tweezers in the changing bag
or in the bathroom cabinet.
Big aspirations from father-of-two Bola Lafe, from Kent.
-Can I see those tweezers?
He needs £50,000 to establish his range of baby accessories
and is willing to part with 10 percent of his new company.
Collectively, the Dragons have 17 children.
What will Theo Paphitis make of Bola's invention?
OK, I've got five kids
and I'm sure we've all nursed a child that's been poorly and has had a blocked nose.
-So, what have we done
to clear that congestion?
The top five things, and we surveyed 2,000 parents,
the first thing they did was fingernails.
They just used that.
The second thing was cotton buds. If you slip, that goes straight up the nose.
The third thing, believe it or not,
-people use metal tweezers, which is what prompted this.
I have seen the fingernail. Do you know what? I think it's safe.
-Fingernail was number one.
-A mother's fingernail just seems to manage.
I've seen them do it so many times. I can't do it.
Women just do it with their finger.
The problem is, their nasal lining is very thin. That's why we've got the doctors involved -
A fingernail doesn't really go up. The snot is there
and you just go "weakey, weakey, weakey, weakey, whoo!"
A rather un-Dragon-like response perhaps,
but at least the multi-millionaires are engaging with the problem at hand.
Can Peter Jones bring a little order back to proceedings?
Bola, I'm praying that you've got something else, apart from bogey tweezers.
I'll show you the others.
These products haven't been commercialised yet. These are concepts and prototypes.
This first product here...
..is our take on the new wet-wipe holders.
Babies move around a lot, they need distracting,
so the different components come off. That could be a rattle.
-Wet wipes in the middle.
This one is a game that doubles up as a learning aid.
The idea is that, once you've studied the pack, you can take a card away
and whoever's playing has time to guess what card's gone.
-Do you have any products that you currently sell? The tweezers?
-What price do you sell them for?
-What's your revenue since you started?
-And your profit?
The profit, er, year one
would be an 80,000 loss.
OK. So, you've tested the concept and you've sold £8,000?
-Is that why you've gone to other products?
-Not at all. I've not been focused full time.
I've been doing it in my spare time.
-You've had a job up until now.
-What was the day job?
I was a managing director at one of the global investment banks.
-Managing director at Citibank?
-For Europe and Asia, so I ran two regions.
-How many people reported to you?
Any thoughts of baby talk are long gone
as Bola's impressive credentials come to the fore.
Deborah Meaden is next to interrogate the former banker.
How much money have you put into this business?
-With everything, just over 200,000.
-Oh, my God.
-So, is that 200,000 already spent?
-It is, yes.
When you put your £200,000 in, what was your business plan?
When did you think you were going to get cash back from that?
We saw that as being from about the fourth year.
We're looking at numbers of 1.4 million.
And after that, the following year, 3.5.
Sorry. In four years, you're going to be making 1.4 million profit?
Yes. Because we've based this on kind of global numbers.
OK. Erm... You've already spent 200,000.
-How much more money are you going to have to spend before you get into profit?
-But we're still trying to get the word out there.
-Bola, Bola, I've made my mind up.
I cannot imagine that you are ever going to see
any part of your £200,000 recouped
through one very small product.
-And the trouble is, your follow-up products, I don't think, are very good.
I think you've been pretty foolhardy with your 200,000.
A frank exchange and an early loss.
Bola's contrasting revelations
are eliciting strong responses from the Dragons.
Will Hilary Devey see an opportunity to invest?
Bola, you're obviously a family man, you obviously love your children,
but why would you give up a job as managing director to pursue that?
I'm passionate about it. I made sure the family is protected for the next two years
while we explore these products.
And at the end of the day, if this doesn't work, I've got the ability to go back to the City.
I think people are underestimating the problem.
-I don't blame you for -
-Well, no, I am a mother
and I brought my own child up and...
We've done the research.
Like we've all said, you'd use your finger or a tissue.
-Doctors recommend not to use a finger.
-He's now 25 years of age
and a big handsome lad!
I do respect people's views, but the experts have looked at it
and they have a different view because they see what goes on in the real world.
You may have different views on this, but I'll prove you wrong.
No question about it on this, because we know this is a problem.
I've never failed at anything I've done.
I would not give up my career to fail at this.
I wouldn't waste anyone's money if you decided to invest.
What you're getting is... I will make it work.
Erm... It's just... It's who I am.
A valiant plea from the assured entrepreneur.
But will it be enough to salvage his dreams of investment?
Duncan Bannatyne is now ready to have his say.
OK, Bola, I would never, ever recommend
anyone use conventional tweezers or hair pins,
but I have seen parents using fingernails, cotton buds and twisted tissue.
Whether or not these things are right to use, I don't know,
but I would rather use any of these three things than use this.
-But why would -
-Nothing you have there is new or innovative or can't be copied.
So for that reason, I have to say where I am and that is out.
Bola, the business,
as much as I know you're hoping on the next innovation, and there's nothing wrong with hoping,
I don't see anything here.
I wish you the best of luck on your journey,
but as an investor, I think I'd lose my shirt.
Two more Dragons walk away from the deal
and Bola's initial confidence is starting to wane.
And it doesn't look as though Hilary Devey
is about to change his fortunes either.
I don't think I can invest my money in this.
I don't believe I'd get my money back.
And I think you will end up back in the City.
So I wish you all the luck in the world,
but I'm out.
Bola, I've been listening because you've got such a credible background,
you're incredibly well presented, you're articulate.
Now, you've got a product there,
is it a horrendous product that's never going to sell?
Actually, I don't think it is.
You'll sell some.
Not enough to pay me back my 50 grand, that's for certain.
So for that reason, I'm going to say to you that I'm out.
Pitching to the Dragons can be a chastening experience
for even the most impressive of entrepreneurs.
Bola leaves with nothing.
Many businessmen and women who enter the Den
start off their entrepreneurial journey
while still holding down a day job.
This was true of serving officer in the airborne infantry Paul Blair...
..who needed £80,000 for his canine safety accessory.
When I was taking my dog for a walk, I threw a stick for him to chase
and as it was tumbling, he ran onto it and injured his mouth.
After seeing a gap in the market, I created Safestix.
Having recently completed a charity skydive,
Duncan was more interested in Paul's other occupation.
-Where are you serving?
-In the Parachute Regiment.
-The Parachute Regiment.
-Did I meet you when I sky-jumped?
-No. I made a point to avoid you.
But the Dragons weren't so impressed by the details of his business.
-How much have you invested in this?
-To date, £46,000.
-Can I speak my mind?
I think you've been so stupid.
I don't really think you need investment.
Why not go back to the manufacturers,
say, "You manufacture it",
let them sell them to retailers, and then take your royalties?
OK, they'll then get a mark-up.
However, Paul did achieve one thing in the Den,
and that was to divide the Dragons about the best way forward for his business.
So Paul rings him and says,
"I want you to make more of these things, but I'm not going to pay you.
"I want you to sell them and send me some money."
-Is that what you're telling Paul to do?
-That'd be great if it works.
-That's a fantastic model!
I totally disagree with Hilary's comment that what you've done is stupid.
The reason I want to make that clear is because you might be packing my parachute!
Get that in now!
It's not an investable business because it's never going to make enough money.
So far tonight, only one business has secured an investment offer from the Dragons.
If you'd like to hear from Theo and Deborah
about why they chose to invest in the entrepreneurial trio...
-We didn't want to be home-wreckers!
-..press the red button at the end of the programme.
It's never too late to pursue a business idea.
Our next entrepreneur is developing a concept that she first had in the 1960s.
71-year-old inventor Wendy Thompson, from the Isle of Wight,
hopes the Dragons will think it's worth the wait.
Hello. My name's Wendy Thompson.
I'd like to offer you 40 percent of my business
in return for £50,000.
Erm... Many years ago, when I was in my early 20s,
I specialised in the treatment of children.
I couldn't get the equipment I needed to, er, augment my treatment.
So I invented some.
But there was one piece of equipment that I never designed and developed,
the Health Swing.
The Ancient Greeks got there first
because they used to use swinging as a magical transformational activity.
So with the Health Swing, you've got the ancient but with a modern twist.
Coming fast-forward to about 15 months ago,
my husband had a stroke
and we both had to adjust.
And I thought, "Right, I'd better sell my cattle."
I had two lovely herds of cattle.
And then I thought I wanted to use the money in designing the swing.
It's a progressive, whole body exerciser.
It strengthens and it mobilises.
I'd just like to demonstrate the swing now.
It is only a prototype.
Elizabeth is going to demonstrate it without any resistance.
Right, now, I'm going to... THEY LAUGH
I'm going to put up the resistance. Er...
Right, off you go.
I've put the resistance up quite a lot, so she's having to work at it.
She's burning up more calories,
she's using her cardiovascular system,
her respiratory system, as well.
Thank you very much.
After nearly 50 years with it on the drawing board,
physiotherapist and lecturer Wendy Thompson
believes the time is right to launch her new therapeutic rehabilitation swing.
She needs £50,000.
It seems to have brought back memories for one Dragon.
-Hello. I'm Theo.
As a kid, I used to always like to be on a swing.
-OK? And it really is therapeutic.
But the minute you put the resistance up, it became a workout.
And do you know what?
It didn't look very nice.
Well, I'm sorry you didn't like it, but you don't have to have it as an exercise machine.
You can just get on it and go.
I've been to gyms... You see, in our world,
not everybody can go to the gym.
If they had this in their home, they can watch TV,
they can actually increase their blood supply.
I know! But we're going to get it down!
This was just made to prove the concept.
Could it be adjusted to hang from a ceiling or a door frame?
-Yes. This was just made for the prototype.
Authoritative responses from the likeable entrepreneur.
So what of her background? Peter Jones wants to know.
Wendy, you mentioned caring, you've done amazing things, but have you ever set a business up?
I was born on a farm and, you know, farming is business.
I worked before I went to school, milked a cow, that sort of thing.
So that really, I suppose,
was where I became resilient and I'd sort of solve things.
Then, er, then I had a career in chartered physiotherapy.
Then I took a degree in rehabilitation at Southampton, which was research.
But it's not until now that I've been able to say,
"Right, this is what I'd like to do more of."
-How much is it?
-What I thought was, there's three markets,
a home market, the gym market and the rehabilitation.
-The home market is perhaps the most valuable.
So I'd have a small version made for the home.
-How much would it cost?
-That would be retailing at £500.
Tell me about the people who can't get the gym. Who are they?
Well, just take my bank manager. He comes back home -
Why can't he drive to the gym and walk in the front door?
Because actually, there's not too many gyms on the Isle of Wight, which is where I come from.
-You live on the Isle of Wight?
-Have you not got a gym there?
-No, I haven't, no.
-OK, let's put the Isle of Wight to one side.
Because you said that you'd been to gyms.
Which gym have you been to with this that said they would buy one?
Never heard of it. Where is that?
-On the Isle of Wight.
-But actually -
-Can I get back to why you came in here?
Do you know my Auntie Joyce on the Isle of Wight?
THEY LAUGH LOUDLY
The Dragons are clearly beguiled by Wendy
and the atmosphere is far from Den-like.
But Hilary Devey wants to bring it back to business.
Wendy, hi. I'm Hilary.
Erm... Have you spoke to
neurologists and neuro physios about this product?
-Because, to be honest, Hilary, I don't really need to,
-because I'm the one -
-Yes, you do.
-A few years ago, I had a stroke.
-Quite a serious stroke.
-I couldn't even spell the word "the".
I went from running a £100 million- turnover business one day
-to not even being able to put pyjamas on the next.
And at the time, they didn't have the right equipment in the hospital
to give me the right physio for the type of stroke that I had,
and I ended up with a paralysed hand, arm and leg.
And to this day, I'm still experiencing that.
-Because there is definitely a shortage of this equipment.
Both in the private sector and the NHS.
So if it works and you've got neurologists on side to say it works for post-stroke victims,
I definitely think you have a market in the health sector.
Hilary, I know I've got a market.
A candid exchange
and one that ends with a passionate defence of her product.
Now, will Deborah Meaden be tempted to invest in Wendy?
In terms of the market,
have you talked to anybody at all about supplying these to them?
No, I haven't. I need some money to put it to production design.
I guess what I'm looking for here is some indication
of anybody you would supply it to being interested in buying it.
I actually went on a cruise,
and so I have spoken to other therapists and sort of said,
"What would your reaction be to this sort of equipment?"
OK. I'm going to be very short on my questioning.
Before you go to all of that expense,
finalising it and then going to a market and the market saying, "No, not interested,"
find somebody who thinks it's such a good solution to the problem
that they will either invest in you,
or at very least say, "When it is produced,
"I'll buy one, preferably some."
I won't be investing. I'm out.
Heartfelt advice, but no cash.
Theo Paphitis looks to have made up his mind, too.
Wendy, you're fabulous,
but I don't actually think this is a money-making venture, and that's what I'm here to do.
I'm going to say to you thanks for giving us the opportunity,
but it's not for me. I'm out.
Erm, it's not something that any gym owner
is going to buy and put in his health clubs or gyms,
because it doesn't add anything.
So for that reason, I'm going to say where I am.
Wendy, I don't see this product getting into the domestic home.
In terms of the swing, it's fantastic, but the swing has been around for a long time.
So I don't see that as a real scalable business opportunity
because I'm not convinced that people would want to buy one.
-I'm going to say I'm out.
Three Dragons out in quick succession.
Now only Hilary Devey can rescue Wendy's investment dreams.
Wendy, because you're so lovely,
I'm tempted to say, "There's 50 grand."
But that would be my heart ruling my head.
Commercially, that would be totally the wrong thing for me to do,
because 50 grand will go nowhere.
I can't invest any money,
but what I will invest is time with The Stroke Association
and some top neuro physios that I know
to see whether or not they think there's an opening for this
in the private medical sector or in the NHS.
-I'm more than happy to spend time with you.
-Thank you very much.
So, unfortunately, from a business perspective, I've got to say I'm out.
But the offer is there. Please do contact me.
Thank you. Thank you all.
Charmed as they were, none of the Dragons could find enough of a reason to invest.
Wendy leaves with nothing.
Other entrepreneurs who tried and failed in the Den
included Gareth and Brian Smith from Derbyshire,
with their low-fat snack company.
Mature cheddar and spring onion.
They wanted £250,000
and were offering just a ten-percent stake.
I'm here with Dad
to talk to you about our unique baked snack called Crips.
Brian revealed a credible past.
I'm a consultant food technologist. I developed the sog-resistant crouton
which goes into soups.
But it was the current state of their business that concerned Theo.
-You've come in with a real racy valuation.
It's only going to be pragmatic
if Gareth has got some incredible sales figures.
Last year, we turned over £227,000. A net loss of £80,000.
The year before, as well, that was minus 93.
-There was a year before that.
-And we had a 165 net loss.
It was a disclosure that marked the end for the father and son's hopes of investment.
A company that loses money every year and has been valued at £2.5 million
is quite ridiculous.
Not if you have the vision of a brand and a product which is unique.
You have this vision?
I don't have the vision, and for that reason, I'm out.
Warrington-based Ian Wilson needed £50,000
to launch his new greener bicycle accessory.
I'm here today to show you my revolutionary product.
As the bicycle moves along, the airflow turns the fan.
I'd like to try it on the bike.
-Can you tell if this is working?
With proof of concept achieved, Deborah Meaden wanted proof of market potential.
What's the closest alternative?
There's solar ones, but they're quite expensive. They're about £80.
-And how much do you think yours would sell at?
The pushbike has got lots of moving parts that you can harness.
There's other things that are out there that do the same job,
from solar, to dynamos, to batteries,
and they don't cost anything like this.
This is not an investable business. I'm out.
Motorbike enthusiast and former milkman
Simon Booth, from Somerset, is next into the Den.
He's one of the lucky entrepreneurs who's transformed a personal passion into a money-making business
and he hopes the Dragons will recognise its potential.
Hello. My name's Simon Booth.
I'm here today looking for £75,000 for 10 percent of my business.
Kiddimoto, since 2004
is the award-winning designer, developer, distributor, manufacturer
of unique wooden balance bikes for two to five year olds.
Balance bikes are the perfect way
to start children onto cycling.
Customers include John Lewis,
Evans Cycles, Honda, Suzuki,
Triumph, to name but a few.
We project that sales revenues
will hit the £5 million mark in 2014.
Now Ruby's going to give you a demonstration.
Grand claims from Simon Booth, who's brought along his three-year-old daughter
to demonstrate his pedal-free children's balance bikes.
In return for a ten percent stake,
the Somerset entrepreneur needs £75,0000 to expand his company.
-Well done, Ruby.
-DRAGONS: Bye-bye, Ruby!
Theo Paphitis looks impressed.
-Simon. Hello, I'm Theo.
-It looks a great product.
-Looks a quality product.
I just want some quick numbers so I can tune into what you do.
It started at trade shows, or consumer shows, selling direct.
-It's the numbers I'm after.
-We sold in the first year 300 units, and that was mostly direct.
-I'd go and knock on doors -
-It's the numbers I'm after.
£30,000 first year.
£100... Er, £265,000.
Then it went up to... Er, last year it was 490.
-Do you make any profit?
-How much did you make last year?
-So, you made a clear profit of £30,000?
-How much do they cost to make?
-And you sell them to the retailer for how much?
-For an average of £50.
-And they retail at what price?
Impressed by the figures and impressed with the product,
Simon has made a good impression on the Dragons.
But Duncan Bannatyne looks distracted.
Simon, I'm confused as to why the motorbike's here.
Because that's where the initial idea came from.
These are replicas of motorcycles.
-But do you own it?
-That's my bike, yes.
Where did you say you're selling these?
Independently-owned bicycle shops, motorcycle shops, toy stores.
So this is what I would do if I was in your position.
I would sell my motorbike, borrow money on credit cards,
-and do everything I could to buy stock to keep 100 percent of my company.
-Why don't you do that?
-The reason I've come to Dragons' Den
is really because it's not just the investment.
It would possibly be the help that comes with an investment,
that has got an incredible amount of business background and acumen
that I can bounce ideas.
-THEO: So, you've come in here to find a friend?
-Kind of, I guess!
Give us a look at one. They look really good.
A heartfelt plea from the entrepreneur.
But how will he fair under the scrutiny of Deborah Meaden?
Erm, I've got to say, I think you've done really well.
-You've generated half a million pounds of turnover.
I sat up and listened then! And then I thought, "Ooh, that only translated to £30,000 profit."
-What's your take on that?
-We just had a late delivery of stock,
so that went in the books as...
That doesn't affect your profit, because you paid, what, £100,000 for your stock,
-you've got £100,000 worth of stock, so that doesn't affect profit.
-I'm purely focusing on profit.
I just want to understand why half a million
-turns to 30,000.
-What are your overheads? Go through that.
Key overheads will be exhibitions...
Put some numbers against those. How much do you spend on exhibitions?
-Exhibitions is in the region of 45 to 50,000.
-Wages and salaries?
-I think £45,000.
-OK, and what about your rent?
-It's about £15,000, I guess.
At the moment, you've managed to explain 100,000 to me.
I must apologise, I can't pull those figures out of my head.
You need to!
-Do you know how important this is?
This is the whole business model.
You've explained half of your costs,
-and half you're really struggling to explain.
It doesn't sound good, does it, Simon?
Right now, your track record is telling me
your net profit ratio is diabolical.
OK, Simon, I'm really sorry,
-you've failed to explain to me the business model.
-I appreciate that.
There's clearly a market! You've got half a million in sales.
A failure to make the numbers add up rarely goes down well in the Den.
Simon loses his first Dragon.
Peter Jones looks to have made his mind up, too.
I'm going to be quite quick.
You've taken a product to market, you've designed it yourself,
that is to be congratulated,
but I think it would be very difficult for me to invest...
..in somebody that is going to require
and expect a lot of assistance and mentoring and time.
Erm... That's something that, unfortunately,
-I have very little of - time.
-It's not an investment for me. I'm out.
-OK, thank you.
Simon, I'm not a million miles away from that.
I love the product.
Difficult to come here and spout numbers, but you should've been better prepared.
I'd love to be your friend, but I'm not going to make any money.
-Thank you very much.
Two more Dragons walk away from investing in Simon and his business.
Can logistics expert Hilary Devey
find a reason to throw him the financial lifeline he badly needs?
-Simon, you say they actually cost £20 to make?
-Is that shipped?
-We've got some shipping costs in there, as well.
What about distribution costs in the UK?
Coming from our warehouse to the customer has to be included in the overhead, as well.
-So there is courier costs.
-So that, I would think, with a product like this,
-would easily account for at least £40,000.
Answer me this. How did you manage to get John Lewis to promote them,
to sell them in their stores?
I met the buyer at the Nuremberg Toy Fair.
They've just placed a nice order, their first order,
£35,000 worth for their autumn collection.
Er... We also talked to Harrods.
Why have you not done it with House of Fraser, Selfridges, Mothercare?
We will be approaching those, as well.
Most of my customers are independent retailers.
But I'd have thought, with a product like this,
what you should've been aiming for, what your vision would've been was brand awareness.
Sure. That's probably why I need a friend to give me some guidance!
The confidence returns.
Has the West Country entrepreneur got his pitch back on track?
Duncan Bannatyne is now ready to show his hand.
Simon, I'm not going to be your best friend
and go out drinking with you every Friday night, erm,
and sit in an office with you,
but I quite like it, in actual fact, when...
..somebody hasn't got the costings quite right, because that's something I can add.
I can analyse exactly the costs.
Because I like the product so much, I'm going to make you an offer.
I'm actually going to make you two offers.
I'll offer you the full amount you're asking for, £75,000,
-but I want for that 30 percent of the company.
I'll make you a second offer. I'm going to offer half the money,
that's £37,500, for 15 percent.
-With the second offer, you could get another Dragon to come in.
-With the first offer, you can just accept me.
-Thank you very much.
At last, Simon has received an offer of the £75,000 he needs
but at a level of equity three times the amount he initially intended to give away.
Will Hilary Devey now choose to undercut her rival's offer,
join forces with him or walk away from the deal altogether?
I also think it's a good product and I can see mileage in it.
I can also help with my own marketing team and my own IT team.
What I've also got is a logistics company throughout Europe to ship it
-for a lot less than what you would pay.
So I would like to offer you half the money
for 15 percent.
Thank you very much.
Well, thank you all very much.
I've learnt an incredible amount about the fact that I don't know
as much as I thought I knew about my business.
And there's a lot more to learn.
I really do need some friends
and it would be good to have two friends.
-What I'd like to do is accept your offer.
-Well done, Simon. Very good move.
Thanks very much.
Simon's done it. It wasn't a smooth ride,
but for two of the Dragons, the potential outweighed the risk.
Simon, did you think at the end that you would walk away with the investment?
Once I started getting a grilling,
especially when Deborah started getting into the numbers, I felt like I didn't have a clue!
It was established that I was looking for not only an investment,
I was looking for friends.
So Duncan and Hilary became my rich friends, if you like!
A dramatic end to the day.
It's important to get the numbers right in the Den, not just to impress the Dragons,
but because if you understand the figures, you usually understand the business.
Simon Booth was lucky to have two allies in Hilary Devey and Duncan Bannatyne
who helped him find clarity where there was confusion.
If you'd like to know why the Dragons invested in Simon,
press the red button now.
You can also apply to the programme if you think you have what it takes to face the multi-millionaires.
Just visit bbc.co.uk/dragonsden. Goodbye.
Next time on Dragons' Den...
-Where's your company based?
-At my home.
-So, your bedroom?
-I'm not finished.
-Neither was I, but go ahead.
I was talking.
-You're just too confusing.
I don't want to invest in the world's most expensive beehive.
Frankly, the beast doesn't change. When that beast is hungry, it wants feeding.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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