Dragons’ Den is now into its 11th series, and is airing at 8pm on Sundays on BBC2. The show offers an excellent opportunity for inventors and entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom who are keen to follow in the footsteps of Levi Roots and Kirsty Henshaw.
Are you interested in pitching to the Dragons?
Innovate's team can help you prepare for the Dragons, with services ranging from patent searching, design and prototyping through to Intellectual Property Protection and marketing support.
We have helped a number of our clients prepare for the show and are therefore in a unique position to offer advice to individuals hoping to develop their ideas before taking their chance in the Den.
Innovate clients previously on Dragons' Den
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latest update from Innovate client BoginaBag
Innovate hear from 2011 successful Den contender, Kate Castle, to catch up on how Boginabag is doing.
"It is two years since I entered Dragons Den with my product BoginaBag and things have really moved on. Going on Dragons Den not only gives you an opportunity to gain the advice of a “Dragon” but you also gain a huge amount of publicity. There is a real peak after the show is aired and orders went through the roof. 2012 was a tough year for us though and with a terrible Summer, some key customers going under and a natural dip in press coverage, we struggled. It was however with the guidance of Theo and his team and the determination to move to the next level that I prepared for 2013. Deciding that I needed more products to grow the brand, an umbrella brand called Gear to Go was created. This has enabled the launch of new products and the first of these was a foldable water bottle that is now available in all Robert Dyas stores. There are also a number of new lines coming for 2014.
It isn’t just about the new products though and with a new German and Australian distributor coming on board with BoginaBag in early 2013 and a huge increase in customer awareness about the product, June 2013 saw our strongest ever sales. It is after all a product that really needs word of mouth to sell and that seems to have really happened this Summer. So with a new office, revamped website and a renewed excitement for growth, 2014 looks set to be an even bigger year for both Boginabag and Gear to Go."
Kate Castle, Boginabag www.boginabag.co.uk
Top Tips from Kate Castle, BoginaBag, on succeeding in the Den
In 2011 Kate Castle pitched her lightweight and portable camping toilet, which Innovate helped design. A strong, confident pitch convinced Dragon Theo Paphitis to invest £50,000 in her business. The BoginaBag brand is now thriving with Theo’s support and on sale throughout the UK and also in Germany, the Netherlands and Australia. With this in mind, we thought, who better to ask about what it takes to tame the Dragons.
"It is a big risk to go on Dragons' Den and absolutely terrifying, but if you have a product you believe in and a business plan that can withhold some pretty tough scrutiny then the rewards are fantastic."
- Be honest and confident in what you say for a successful application.
- In preparation for the Den do your research. I watched hours of episodes and took notes on where people succeeded and where they failed.
- You are only allowed to take the product and nothing else into the Dragons’ Den. They ask for lots of detailed paperwork but you can’t take any in.
- You need to appear confident without being arrogant.
- Remember they want to make an investment; there are no trick questions they just want people to demonstrate that they can make a business work.
With the upcoming series, we are looking forward to seeing more of our clients braving the Den. This series we say goodbye to dragon Theo Paphitis and fiery Hilary Devey and says hello to the new tough-talking 'dragons' Piers Linney and Kelly Hoppen. More than anything, Innovate will be looking forward to seeing the next generation of entrepreneurs and inventors pitting their wits against this new team of ferocious Dragons!
At Innovate we are always welcoming new ideas that we can help to get in front of the Dragons. Why not download one of our free information packs from here and take your first steps towards getting prepared for the Dragons’ Den!
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