But it was a starting point. Unfortunately, what followed was an anti-climax because there was a long time between filming and speaking to Peter Jones. At the time of writing, White has yet to meet with Jones, although she has met with members of the team he dispatched to manage the investment in Truly Madly Baby. White says they did not come up with anything new in terms of strategy for the company. Worse, White says the contract confirming the investment was not fair on her.
Of course, what White really wanted was contact with Jones himself. But they wanted us to fund legal bills and agree other payments that would go out when our investment was made.
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We like the business and, indeed, Julie, but nothing has been completed. Today there are 40 consultants selling baby products with plans for 60 by the end of July and a staggering by the end of next year.
The company was at the Baby Show at the National Exhibition Show in Birmingham in May and is about to launch a new, page catalogue of baby gear. Thomas was starting to develop his idea of producing the perfect truffle-black truffles are more valuable per gram than gold-and he had developed the technology to grow them. After seven years as a student, Thomas needed the money to transform his research into reality and to start buying land on which to grow the truffles. He had nothing to lose by agreeing to pitch his business on the BBC show. As Thomas appeared on the first series he had no idea who the Dragons were until he entered the room to pitch his idea.
Two Dragons-Simon Woodroffe, founder of the Yo! Sushi restaurant chain, and Rachel Elnaugh, who founded adventure gifts company Red Letter Days-were interested in investing. One of the things he learnt very quickly was to stand firm.
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He thought the deal Woodroffe was offering him was unfair. He wanted a share of everything I ever did.
He and his team have just come back from South Africa where they have finalised franchise agreements for more truffle sites. In the UK, he is busy analysing soils in Kent for yet more sites, while plantations have already gone ahead in countries such as Greece and Poland. Mycorrhizal Systems, which is based in Manchester, now employs five people in the UK, with many more employed on plantations throughout the world.
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And he is prepared to be in it for the long haul-after all, the financial upside of harvesting truffles could be huge. The publishing entrepreneur made his pitch to the panel during the first series, confident he had identified a niche in the market for Wonderland, an aspirational magazine aimed at both male and female readers.
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It was a bold assertion; start-up magazines jostle for success with established titles and experienced publishers. It is a risky business, but with a potentially high return. Gwyther says Jones, who is now chairman of the business, and his team have been a pleasure to work with and he has daily contact with them. Wonderland launched last September and the Notting Hill based business is already self-funded and has a full-time staff of seven.
We want to grow and improve the magazine so it becomes a totally indispensable arbiter of fashion and visual culture. What impressed Jones most about Wonderland was that Gwyther was looking for investment for the company, rather than money to fund his own lifestyle-a trap many entrepreneurs fall in to. Jones remains involved: the magazine launched in September and there are still monthly board meetings. Next is a plan to roll the brand out internationally. There are already six issues a year with plans to increase frequency. Director is the magazine for business leaders.
Free to IoD members and available to purchase through subscription, each edition is full of insightful interviews with entrepreneurs and company directors. Time limit is exhausted. Top Menu. The millionaires on Dragons' Den may think they're shrewd enough to spot a lucrative business opportunity when it's pitched right in front of their faces, but they don't always get it right and, every so often, the rejects get the last laugh, as we'll show you.
James Nash fared badly when he pitched his Cup-a-wine idea to the bemused dragons in Humiliated when dragon Theo Paphitis broke a strap on one of the cases, Law left empty-handed. Rob Law: Trunki Courtesy Trunki. Much to the dragons' regret, Law had sold two million Trunkis by and has made millions out of the ride-on cases, which are now a must for families with young children worldwide.
Shaun Pulfrey became a hairdresser at the age of 16 and developed his product to undo knots and tangles in hair through years of experience. Popular among celebrities including Victoria Beckham and Emma Watson, the product is now an essential piece of kit for people with long, unmanageable locks. Thankfully, Natalie Ellis wasn't discouraged when her non-spill water bowl for pets was rejected in and her plans to expand to the US were completely derided.
Making her first million pounds by , the savvy entrepreneur has seen sales of her bowl soar worldwide since her appearance on the show.
A former taxi driver, Rachel Lowe used her cabbie knowledge to create the taxi-themed Destination London board game and took her idea into the den in , where it was savaged by the investors. However, London toy megastore Hamleys began stocking the game later that year, and it remains one of the store's bestsellers.
Lowe expanded to other titles and even picked up an MBE, but here have been some bumps along the road. Her collaboration with Warner Bros to create Destination Hogwarts led to financial difficulties in and her company went into administration. But the den-reject picked herself up once again, launching an Olympics-themed game in Daring to enter the den in , Nikki Frith and business partner Lindsey Oldroyd left with nothing for their quirky marmalade business after a fraught appearance.
Granny Cool went on to prove dragon Peter Jones's declaration that the product "will only ever be regional".