Series: 11-12

Notable investments:

  • Wonderbly
  • Mainstage Festivals
  • Skinny Tan

Piers Linney was born in Stoke-on-Trent and started his first business at 13, a paper round which cut out the newsagent and where Piers went directly to the wholesaler. With a degree in accounting and law, he went on to work with Credit Suisse before starting to establish his own companies.

The opportunity to be on Dragons’ Den came around for series 11, which aired in 2013. He made an impressive eight investments considering how long he was on the show. He invested £100,000 in Wonderbly (then Lost My Name) and £100,000 in Mainstage Festivals (then Mainstage Travel). He and Kelly Hoppen put in £60,000 in exchange for ten per cent equity. Off the back of the investment, Skinny Tan made a deal with Boots and expanded to Spain, Canada, South Africa and Dubai.   

Piers left the programme because he wanted to move on and focus on other projects. Since then, he’s been non-executive director of British Business Bank as well as a trustee for Nesta. He also runs online courses for start-ups, known as #Startup with Piers Linney. He’s represented SMEs in his Cabinet Office role and recorded the Rethinking Business podcast in association with NatWest. He’s working on a content platform called #ScaleUp to help entrepreneurs and speaks at various business events.