In the most recent series, 15 entrepreneurs received offers of investment in the Den, and plenty more have gone on to find success even without the backing of the Dragons.
Imran Hakim pitched his iTeddy, a teddy bear with an integrated multi-media player, securing an investment of £140,000 from Theo Paphitis and Peter Jones. With the Dragons’ investment and expertise, the iTeddy became one top three selling toys at Argos of Christmas 2007 and Imran has recently signed a multi-million pound deal with the UK’s number one toy and game distributor.
The rules are simple: entrepreneurs can ask for any amount of investment in return for equity in their business. However, they must get the amount they ask for or they will walk away with nothing. The Dragons are prepared to listen to a pitch for any kind of business but they must be convinced that it will make money.
Ideas, businesses and products that meet some or all of the following criteria stand a good chance of securing the Dragons’ interest:
• The Unique Selling Point: an aspect of a product that serves a need like nothing else.
• Scalability: something that can be up scaled to make real money.
• Route to market: the clear way the product can be sold and marketed.
• Mutually beneficial arrangement: what will the Dragons get out of the deal?
• Exit strategy: a plan of how the entrepreneur/Dragon will exit the deal and make a profit.