Dragons’ Den blog: Episode 7 Series 9

Posted on by Nell Frizzell

Evan Davis’ must be a strange life. By morning he’s interviewing prime ministers, grilling politicians and heckling journalists. By night he staring uncertainly down a video camera in an abandoned warehouse, surrounded by empty lockers and bits of chain. Oh well, I suppose those moleskin suits don’t buy themselves. Talking of buying, let’s see what investable delights get dragged up those stainless steel stairs this week.

First up we have Nick, Richard and Sebastian with their self-pouring pint. The trio are looking for £50,000 in exchange for 15% ownership of their business. Well, I say business: I mean a prosthetic limb for a beer pump that allows a glass to fill itself with all the mechanical joy of an old man’s old chap. Perhaps they should call it The Brewers Droop Scoop?

The invention will, apparently, speed up the time it takes to get served at the bar by stopping all those lazy bar staff from holding each drink as it pours. Maybe we could get rid of locals, televised sport and chatting while we’re at it? In fact, perhaps we should just get rid of pubs altogether and just get ourselves wheeled along under a row of optics and barrels, like a conveyor belt of alcofun. Or ask Wallace and Gromit to design the entire pub, with steam-powered fruit machines, pulley-powered cigarettes and a huge plasticine barmaid called Brenda.

Theo Paphitis seems interested in the half-time potential of self-pouring pints while Hilary Duvet admits to pouring her first pint at the age of six. Mind you, judging by her cherubic voice, Hilary had already been smoking for a good three years by then. Anyway, it was experience enough to convince Hilary that what you need to get served in double time is twice the staff with double the training.

Duncan Bannatyne won’t be interested until they invent the self-pouring Irn Bru and Deborah is worried about speed pouring. Whatever the heck that is. However, both Deborah and Theo put together an offer of £50,000 for 30%. That, my friends, deserves a drink.

Next up, Jackie Thompson from Lincolnshire dresses all four dragons up in white jumpsuits and masks. Now, I hate to get biological here but Peter Jones’ jumpsuit isn’t quite long enough in the body, turning his CSI outfit into more of a wash’n’wear self-dividing cheese wire. Yum.

Our third presentation comes from ex-city trader Bola who has a dream of cashing in on snotty-nosed toffs. Quite literally. Bola wants to eliminate bogies, boogers and nose goblins with his natty new nasal tweezers (try saying that with a face full of mucus). In fact, the Cleebo tweezers are just a small part of Bola’s range. One can only imagine what products lie beneath that black cloth – snot plungers? Bogie swords? Phlegm thimbles?

Now, according to Evan Davis, “The dragons have got 17 children between them”. Imagine their house – Ma Dragon up in the attic, while the little Dragon Chidluns run out in the yard; like an episode of The Waltons, except they’re all ruthless capitalists and only four are allowed to sit down at any one time. Most worrying is who’s looking after these 17 children tonight if they’re all at work? Perhaps they’ve been locked in a childproof Dragon’s Pen.

“I’ve never failed at anything I’ve done.” Says Bola just seconds before failing to win any investment. Ouch.

We are then treated to a ‘canine safety accessory’ that I imagine could prove very popular with lesbian and divorced female dog walkers, if you know what I mean.

Next, Wendy Thompson from the Isle of Wight is looking for £50,000 in exchange for a 40% share in her enormous wooden mousetrap. Oh no, sorry, it’s a health swing. In explaining the benefits of the Health Swing, Wendy goes in to quite a formidable back story, including a passing reference to some cattle. Well, if you can’t blind them with science you can always give historical evasiveness a try.

According to Wendy you can even “watch television while swinging”. No wonder she’s such a “likeable entrepreneur,” if that’s what she gets back to on the island.

When asked if she’s ever started her own business before, Wendy launches in to one of her trademark historical answers: “I was born on a farm. Before I went to school I milked a cow.” When asked if she has taken any orders for her health swing, Wendy replies: “Well, I went on a cruise… “That’s the way Wendy – don’t let them tie you down.

Although none of the Dragons choose to invest, Hilary does offer to put Wendy in touch with the Stroke Association and put her time in to helping the septuagenarian entrepreneur. How nice.

Gareth and Brian Smith come along next with their own range of low fat snacks called Crips. Wow. They sound Tatsy. Sadly, the father and son team are hardly – how can I put this – a winning advert for low fat snacking, and neither is their track record of three years of enormous losses in a row.

Finally we come to former milkman Simon Booth from Somerset. Simon is one of those “lucky entrepreneurs to have turned personal passion in to a money-making venture.” Like a concubine then, or a gigolo.

Simon is willing to give up 10% of his business in exchange for £75,000 investment. His business, Kiddimoto, produces pedal-less wooden bikes for kids that look like motorbikes. Luckily, Simon’s daughter manages to demonstrate all the fun of a Kiddimoto without freewheeling head first down the steel steps of the studio’s artful gloom.

Now, despite turning over £490,000 last year, our milkless man only actually managed £30,000 profit. Which means that, somewhere along the line, he’s lost £460,000 – a figure that is unlikely to endear him to a panel of investors.

Despite being the show’s premium petrolhead Peter Jones doesn’t have the time to invest in Kiddimoto. I suppose being a “Telecomms Giant” must be rather time-consuming, what with all those telecoms children you have to terrify and telecoms bridges you have to lurk under waiting for passing telecoms goats.

Luckily, MC Bannatime and Hilary are on hand to offer the £75,000 for a 15% stake each.

So there we have it: snot, snacks, swings, “sticks” and one very happy Simon. See you next week!

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