The Dragons’ are hiring

The first pitch of the series definitely caught the attention of the Dragons, as Scott from Swing Patrol and his troupe danced into the Den. After giving the Dragons a quick, somewhat successful  lesson, Scott explained the nature of his swing dance class business, and it has to be said that his knowledge and willingness to expand and adapt seemed very appealing. However he forgot to mention one detail; he planned on adding a bar and serving alcohol into the warehouse he would be converting into a dance space.

Considering Duncan’s health club business, the added alcohol factor changed things slightly for the Dragons, but light-on-his-feet Scott suggested that he was flexible on this idea. Wanting £65,000 for 10 per cent of the business, he needed to keep the Dragons on side. And despite Duncan’s offer of £32,500 for 10 per cent (which Kelly also matched), Scott accepted previous Strictly Come Dancing contestant Deborah’s offer of the whole £65,000 for 20 per cent and danced his way out of the den.

It was difficult to stay focused on vegetable crisps after the liveliness of the dancing, as John’s monotone voice and long list of health facts was a less than inspiring aspect of the pitch. John and Claire and their super healthy vegetable crisps caused the Dragons a problem, tugging on their heart strings. On a business level however, all believed that the market already has an abundance of this kind of product. Peter Jones pointed out that previous loans they had been given were lifelines to their company, and it hadn’t worked out for them. Duncan offered £37,500 for 15 per cent of their business, only half of what they required, and with no other offers this meant that they’d leave empty handed.

And as promised with Dragon’s Den, next in was something unexpected and also completely pointless, although I’m sure everyone watching wanted to give it a go! Ex-military man Phil’s product was a small tank, big enough to sit an adult in, that can be driven around. Sound ridiculous? It is. The Dragons seemed to enjoy the novelty of the small vehicle but at £98,000 for 15 per cent of the business, along with a very stubborn business owner unwilling to accept Peter’s environmental advice, all Dragons were out.

To join in with the ridiculousness, also in this week’s episode were a couple who design bespoke radiator covers. As Kelly Hoppen has a keen eye for all things design, she took no time in saying that people have been trying to hide radiators for years, not emphasise them, and that they are “hideous”. All Dragons say that the business is all wrong and are all out.

Of course there has to be the one pitch that restores our faith, and Jennifer, founder and director of Skribbies, did just that. As the inventor of a children’s shoe with an outer textile of whiteboard style material, Jennifer expressed a wealth of knowledge and incredible passion for her customizable kid’s shoes and impressed the Dragons with her pitch, plans and answers to their questions. Asking for £60,000 for 20 per cent, Jennifer had to hope for more than just Piers’ offer of £30,000 for 12.5 per cent. Kelly and her creative instinct took to the project, saying she could bring retail contacts, was happy working with Piers and would replicate his offer. Jennifer accepted Kelly and Piers, giving them 12.5 per cent each in return for the full £60,000.

All good TV isn’t complete without a small twist at the end. This week, Jake and Joe, creators of Frame Again, an online company promising framed photos and next day delivery aimed at smartphone and Instagram users, made Peter think. As a leader in the field himself with Jessops, Frame Again was a rival concept.

The Dragons thought it a good idea for the most part, although hated the design of the frame and its £21.99 RRP, and one by one said the famous “I’m out”. Lastly Peter decided to make an offer. Instead of offering the £60,000, he offered jobs, on the basis that Jake and Joe would take this business idea forward under the Jessops name. As the endlessly wise Dragons pointed out, the business with its current pricings and designs would not be successful, especially alongside other strong competitors, and it is for this reason that it was probably a silly idea to decline Peter’s offer. Only time will tell whether Frame Again will survive and progress.

So that wraps up this week, with two investments made and the promise of excitement to come in the series. Deborah and Swing Patrol are sure to work well, however this week’s standout is Skribbies. With a determined, confident and intelligent lady at the helm, with a hand from Kelly and Piers, Jennifer is sure to succeed. Will Skribbies be the next Reggae Reggae Sauce?

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