Dragons’ Den: Peter shows his strength and Duncan takes a nap

First into the Den this week were Vicky and Chantelle, pulled by two adorable Huskies, to pitch the Arctic Quest. Offering Husky rides and educational experiences, as well as accommodation, appealed to the Dragons, however their plans to spend the investment on their own land caused the Dragons to become sceptical. Leisure activities involving a different experience are becoming increasingly popular, and this is another experience most would probably like to have – especially along with themed accommodation. However after a grilling about their greatly overvalued business and some helpful tips, such as Kelly’s suggestion to continue renting land, each Dragon pulled out one by one meaning that Vicky and Chantelle left empty handed.

And from one business with overestimated figures we move onto another. Whilst this gourmet drinking chocolate purely sourced from South America looked lovely, and it is definitely a good thing to know your business’ figures inside out, the Dragons were not convinced by the unrealistically optimistic nature of the forecast figures. Drinking hot chocolate is supposed to make you feel warm and fuzzy, and like you could curl up and nap for a while. Unfortunately due to the incessant droning regarding turnover in each year this pitch only succeeded in making me feel like I could nap for a while. I’m not feeling particularly warm and fuzzy about this product, and neither were the Dragons, who all withdrew because of contractual issues and badly estimated forecast figures.

Next we raced through Chris’s computer game pitch. The Dragons’ loved playing the driving game in which the aim is to cause as much damage as possible, but it did distract them from the pitch, which could (in my cynical eyes) be a pre-emptive look at what this game could do to the people who play it. Whilst my issues with the product revolve around my personal dislike of anything that means being engrossed in a smartphone, Chris’s casual approach to his business (“Uhhh… I think we’re still making money”) was a warning sign to the Dragons. Teamed up with the fickle nature of the gaming industry, this was enough reason for all Dragons to decide not to offer any money.

After Chris’s unsuccessful attempt at winning over the Dragons we saw two very well suited up men enter the Den to pitch Bloomin’ Simple, their business in creating greeting cards that are also vases. Available in different designs and for different occasions, this card/vase provided a new alternative for storing flowers, particularly when giving them as a gift. It didn’t prove comforting when Duncan’s questions about the valuation of their business completely stumped these guys, and Kelly pointed out that at £4.99 RRP these cards then become a second purchase alongside flowers.

I was immediately sold on the idea of this product as I believed it to be a temporary, disposable product that you could bin when the flowers died. However as the pitch progressed, and as Peter then suggested this idea to them, I realised that I was wrong, that these vases were made to be kept, and I then changed my mind entirely. I loved the solution to the issue of having to store a vase away when there are no flowers in the house, but it turned out that these card vases caused even more clutter. And I, like the Dragons, am now definitely out.

This week’s montage of pitches treated us to one unlucky Den-goer who caused Duncan to nod off, and what seemed alarmingly like dog deodorant. No surprises that the Dragons didn’t part with any money there.

Now, a thought that has actually crossed my mind in the past, what do motorcyclists do when their visor is covered in water/mud/squished flies? Well finally here is a solution! A protective glove that features a sponge and dry wipe blade. However despite the fact that I am glad something like this exists, you have to ask how two people can invest £100,000 into a product as functional as this and still not have much to show for it. The Dragons only saw overvaluation and didn’t see potential, and so all pulled out.

As we enter the final pitch of the episode, we have to hope that it restores some of the faith we put into these entrepreneurs. Jordan and his Grip It Fixings provide the solution to a common problem most will have encountered when trying to place a screw into a wall. These strong fixings hold a lot of weight and promise to remain sturdy. Peter was keen to test this theory, and promptly pulled the display radiator straight off of its fixings without a great deal of effort. His concerns about the safety of this product caused him to withdraw, and one by one his fellow Dragons told 18 year old Jordan that he is an exceptional young man with a great product and proceeded to follow Peter’s lead until only Deborah remained.

Great interest and deals from retailers were proof that Jordan had a great product (despite Peter’s hulk-like abilities), and Deborah proceeded to offer the full £80,000 for a 30 per cent stake in the business. Eventually 25 per cent was settled on, and Jordan left the Den having accepted the only offer made in this episode.

Personally I believe that Jordan’s product will be a huge success, even if I am put off by the very permanent nature of the huge hole in the wall that the fixings require.

It has to be said that there wasn’t a great deal worth investing in this week, and so despite the preview showing us a giant pair of green underpants and not much else, I do hope that next week the Dragons are feeling less stingy.

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