Dragons’ Den blog: Episode 2 Series 9

Posted on by Rob Powell

First up in the Den was Lady MC & DJ Trickles from the British BJ&MC Academy. They parked their Bass Station in the Den and asked for £150,000 of investment for 20% of their company.

The multi-strand education provider offers music and DJing courses for adults and young people. Peter Jones proved anybody can have a go by getting up and giving a rendition of the Hip To The Hop that might have been best left in the bedroom mirror.

All of the Dragons were impressed by the passion of the social entrepreneurs, but none saw it as an investable opportunity and they left the Den with only warm words and the uncomfortable memory of Peter Jones rapping.

Love Da Pop claim to “make, pack and sell the world’s best popcorn” and the trio of advertising execs behind the plan wanted £70,000 for 35% of their business.

The Dragons all liked the sweet snack but their plan to expand from special events into retail went pop after Theo explained some of the harsh realities of distribution.

“It’s not a business, you’re not going to take over the world, you’re not the next Ben and Jerry… this is painful, ” declared Duncan Bannatyne.

He was out and so were the others soon after with the exception of Peter Jones who said they reminded him of the founders of Innocent drinks. His offer of all of the money for 45% of the company was accepted and the first deal of the night was done.

Glen Harden from Kent came into the Den with his son and an idea that he said had been sitting in his dad’s lockup for fourteen years. The UV Body Sculpture gives you, he claimed, a better looking body through selective tanning.

The “refreshing” and “honest” inventor admitted it “might be nothing” but reckoned the potential market was huge. New Dragon Hilary said she couldn’t invest the £50,000 in it that Glen wanted – “it’s too ‘ard earned”. The other Dragon’s also declined to invest.

Liz and Alan Colleran from a company called Raskelf wanted £80,000 investment, and a bit of mentoring, to help expand their memory foam products business across Europe and the US. Their caravan mattresses might have been equipped with memory foam but their own memory was found wanting when the Dragons wanted to drill down into what the company was spending its money on.

“We’d know within five seconds of getting back to the office,” said Liz.

Duncan Bannatyne didn’t hide his frustration: “Your numbers don’t add up. It’s ridiculous and ludicrous and I am out.” Peter, Theo and Deborah also declared themselves out and the crestfallen couple looked at Hilary Devey for their final chance.

There was a long pause. Was her foot itching? After the silence, came an offer of the full amount for 26%. After years of requiring business people to justify their percentages based on company valuations, Hilary rather undid all this by saying she wanted more than a quarter of the limited company so that the Colleran’s didn’t have complete control of the business.

The deal marked the first investment for the newest Dragon in the Den and took the night’s investment total to £150,000.

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