Everyone dreams (or has real nightmares) about climbing those stairs and going into the Dragons’ Den to present the business idea that will change your life.
But what is it that makes the ideal pitch? Here are ten of the finest proposals placed before the fire-breathing entrepreneurs down the years
Levi Roots Reggae Reggae Sauce
- One of the most memorable pitches ever, Levi Roots opted to sing about his Roots’ Reggae Reggae Sauce. His Caribbean-inspired products and a marketing strategy based around ‘putting music in your food’ made his business an instant success.
The Generating Company
- Paul Cockle and his contemporary circus production business was determined to compete with industries leaders such as Cirque de Soleil. His insistence that the business could compete in the industry was criticised, but he has gone to success by breaking down the barriers between circus, dance and theatre, along the way securing clients such as the BBC and Audi.
Razzamataz Theatre Schools
- Despite the current boom in the theatre and dance school market, Denise Hutton-Gosney saw a gap in the industry to offer exceptional and affordable singing, drama and dance lessons to children aged from 4 to 18. Students from Razzamataz have gone on to appear in West End shows such as Billy Elliot.
- Married couple Neil and Laura Westwood spied a gap in the market for a lightweight and portable solution for a whiteboard. And so, the whiteboard roll was created and Magic Whiteboard has gone from strength to strength, listing a number of products including Magic Blackout Blinds.
- Richard Blakesley and Chris Barnardo walked into the Den with their universal remote control that looks like a magic wand, and had all five Dragons impressed by the idea. The Kymera Magic Wand is a universal remote which allows users to control their Blu-ray player, TV or hi-fi with just a flick of the wrist. Other products from the Wand Company include Doctor Who’s Sonic Screwdriver.
- BoginaBag is a unique portable toilet that is both lightweight and robust. Festival goers, campers and all other outdoor types fell for the product as it provided the solution to an age-old question. Folding out as a seat, it is a toilet that is hygienic and uses no chemicals.
- The Rapstrap is similar to regular nylon cable ties, but it substantially reduces the waste of plastic because one Rapstrap can be used several times. The number of cable ties used each year is estimated to be around the same number as carrier bags used, so they had provided a real alternative for people’s tying needs at the office, home or garden.
- This educational gadget for kids topped a lot of gadget sales lists in 2011 after Bolton entrepreneur Imran Hakim brought teddies into the 21st century. The iTeddy has a detachable personal media player built in which can play bedtime stories and cartoons and makes for a perfect Christmas or birthday gift.
- Kirsty Henshaw’s pitch was for a range of ice-creams free from allergens, sugar and artificial additives. Single mum Kirsty’s son has a serious allergy and so she wanted to make delicious food which is suitable for food allergy sufferers, as well as for people watching their weight or sugar intake.
- These DIY voodoo dolls can be personalised with your own face, or that of a friend or family member. A hit in the novelty gift market, the company has since branched out into pet dolls and superhero designs.
Do you have a business proposal that you’d dare to lay in front of the Dragons?