Being a bit of an entrepreneur myself, I received this invitation to apply to the Dragon's Den. I'm not going for it this time round, but what about you, my fellow accountants? I'd love to see the accounting profession represented a bit more robustly on one of these businessy competitive TV shows. And come to think of it, I don't think I've seen an accountant participating on The Apprentice, to date, either. Well, whatever your tipple, Dragon's Den or The Apprentice, lets put a call out for the accountants. Come on down. First up, the Dragon's Den. Read on for details on how to enter....
Do you need cash for your business idea?
Dragons’ Den is in its fifth series and continuing to offer entrepreneurs from across the country the chance to make their business dreams come true.
Last series 10 entrepreneurs received investment from the Dragons’ Den.
Brixton based Levi Roots secured an investment of £50,000 when he serenaded the Dragons’ convincing them that his Reggae Reggae Sauce was hot stuff. Just 3 ½ weeks after his appearance on the programme he launched his sauce in 607 Sainsbury’s’ stores nationwide with his first batch selling out across the country in the first day.
Imran Hakim pitched his I-Teddy, a teddy bear with an integrated multi-media player, securing an investment of £140,000, he has just signed a multi-million pound deal and is preparing to launch later this year.
And, 19 year old Christian Lane received an investment of £80,000 from Theo Paphitis for his business Foldio, the first ever stationary folder that decreases the size of the paper by 50%, curving the paper without causing any creases.
Of course, not everyone gets investment in the Den but plenty go on to find success. Paige Allen has begun trialling her inflatable, protective carriers for fruit in nationwide stores. Kate and Jerry Daly’s Send a Kiss is about to be tested in a major high street chain, and, Anna Dickson is on the verge of signing an exciting deal with a large distributor for her Mummy Mitts after appearing in the Den.
The rules are simple: the 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.
As demonstrated by the investments in the last four series, 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: 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: just what will the Dragons get out of it?
· Exit Strategy: a plan of how the entrepreneur/Dragon will exit and make money.
The BBC is currently searching for Britain’s best entrepreneurs and will be auditioning throughout the coming months. We want to hear from anyone who thinks they’ve got what it takes to enter the Dragons’ Den.