Dragons’ Den – The New Series – 2012

Dragons' Den returns for series 10

Dragons’ Den returns to BBC2 for its landmark 10th series on September 9th 2012. Duncan Bannatyne, Hilary Devey, Theo Paphitis, Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones prepare for tense negotiations, with a fresh set of budding entrepreneurs entering the den.

But first, let’s take a look at some of the most successful products that have been on the show:

Rejections That Got Rich

Trunki – Ride-on hand luggage suitcase for children

The Dragons quickly decided Rob Law’s ideas belonged in neverland as he was ridiculed for Trunki, luggage designed especially for children which lets them bring along toys and spare clothing when travelling. Judge Theo Paphitis particularly mocked the product after managing to pull off one of the straps. Now, it’s clear the Dragons were wrong to jump to conclusions with global sales for Trunki reported over 120,000 at the end of 2008.

Tangle Teezer – A brush that untangles wet or dry hair

Shaun Pulfrey got himself in a twist while trying to convince the Dragons to part with their cash for Tangle Teezer, a device designed to smooth knotted hair easily. It wasn’t regarded as a sound business proposition and Shaun walked away without investment. Convinced there was a market for his product, the Brixton born designer stuck to his guns and went on to make pre-tax profits of £127,000 in 2009.

The Road Refresher – A non-spill dog bowl

Although the eponymous Dragons sympathized with Natalie Ellis’ heart-wrenching tale of a previous business gone bust following a stroke aged just 37, none were willing to give the inventor a bone to help export her non-spill dog bowl to America. Natalie went on to do very well for herself with The Road Refresher being stocked in the UK’s largest pet superstore as well as realising her dream of breaking into the American market.

Successful Investments

Reggae Reggae Sauce – Hot spicy barbecue sauce and seasonings (Series 4, Episode 1)

Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae Sauce containing a secret recipe from granny dearest, initially proved too hot to handle for any Dragon with everyone declaring themselves out. And despite getting mixed up between his kilos and litres before admitting that “I’m a singer, not a mathematician”, Levi eventually managed to pry open the wallets of Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh to secure a deal of £50,000 for a 40% stake.

The Kymera Wand – A button-less, gesture-based universal remote control (Series 8, Episode 7)

Richard Blakesley and Chris Barnardo didn’t need any hocus pocus to persuade the Dragons to invest in their universal remote that looks like a magic wand. With 10,000 units already sold, a 400% mark-up, and a confirmed deal to advertise their product in flight magazines in practically every single domestic flight within the US, the Dragons were impressed. Duncan Bannatyne offered the full amount of £200,000 for 30% equity.

Concentrate – A business that designs products to help children concentrate at school (Series 5, Episode 3)

Serial inventor Mark Champkins, failed to convince most Dragons that he was a worthy investment when he pitched *four products from Concentrate, his educational products business which aims to help children perform at school. Luckily, Peter Jones made it clear he didn’t think Mark was just a wacky inventor who would struggle to sell the required volumes, by offering him £100,000 for a 40% stake in his business.

1. Chairpadbag; a school bag that folds out as a padded seat cover, to make hard plastic chairs more comfortable.
2. Bottlecoolerpenholder; A jacket for water bottles that reminds children to drink water and stores stationery
3. Food For Thought Lunchbox; Encourages children to eat more fruit and prevents stored fruit from being damaged
4. Lunchbox Cooler; Bag which keeps its contents fresh and cool

Magnamole – An invention that uses magnets to thread cables through cavity walls

Dragon Slayer Sharon Wright blew everyone away with an excellent pitch for Magnamole, a device which allows cables to be safely threaded through cavity walls using magnets. She held fast under the Dragons’ trademark barrage of questions to prove that Magnamole’s positives outweigh the negatives, and gave up a 22.5% stake to walk away with more money than she came for thanks to a combined offer from Duncan Bannatyne and James Caan worth £80,000.

Last Year’s Winner’s – 2011 Series 9

Raskelf Duvalay – Memory foam sleeping bag

The Dragons were wide awake during Husband and wife Alan and Liz Colleran’s pitch for Raskelf Duvalay, a memory foam sleeping bag which offers great comfort and that’s easily stored. But the duo then crumbled under the scrutiny of the Dragons, failing to provide them with crucial figures on demand. They were rescued by a last ditch move from Hilary Devey, who offered them £80,000 for 26% equity.

Boginabag – A convenient, lightweight and robust portable toilet

Kate Castle hoped the Dragons wouldn’t flush her dreams away when she presented Boginabag, an outdoor deckchair that converts into a portable toilet for campers and festival goers. Kate had little to fear as a bidding war soon ensued with Deboarh Meaden, Hilary Devey and Theo Paphitis all putting in offers. Mrs Castle chose Theo because of his retail contacts and gave him a 30% stake in her business in exchange for £50,000.

Roast Cosy – Chain mail that’s used to protect your roast during or after cooking

Helen Waterson came to the den planning to wet the Dragons’ appetite with Roast Cosy, a re-usable, environmental friendly kitchen gadget that protects your roast from burning and keeps it warm. Mrs Waterson certainly felt the heat when 3 out of 5 dragons declared themselves out after not being impressed. But she accepted Peter Jones’ and Deborah Meaden's offer of £35,000 each for a total 48% stake in the company.

Kiddimoto – Company that produces wooden balance bikes for young children

Simon Booth arrived with backup in the form of his 3 year old daughter Ruby when asking for an investment in Kiddimoto, his company that produces safe, fun balance bikes which help young children learn to cycle. After being sucked into a vortex of questions, he recovered from a few potentially disastrous slip-ups to give away 30% of his business to a joint deal from Hilary Devey and Duncan Bannatyne worth £75,000.

– Charles Oben


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