Dragon’s Den: Two Heads are Better than One for Lisa and Helen and Kelly and Jill while Andrew Hannon fails to frighten
So far in this series of Dragon’s Den only three pitches have tempted the Dragons enough to part with their cash and in only one of those instances was that person on their own which to me proves that two, or sometimes three, heads are better than one. That theory continues in tonight’s episode as it is pairs of friends or sisters that have the most luck in the den while in turn it seems that the Dragons themselves are more valuable if they join together also.
The two heads are better than one philosophy is first attempted by Andrew Hannon however his second head is a monster mask worn to scare off an imposter in this somewhat inventive pitch. Andrew wanted £50,000 for a 20% stake in his business which from what I could tell involved downloading two separate horror-related dares from itunes and completing them scaring yourself silly in the process. The pitch involved a man introducing himself as Andrew Hannon starting a diatribe about packages being damaged in the mail and then being attacked by the real Andrew who was wearing the aforementioned mask. The downloadable dares were based on Andrew’s short stories which he’d bought with him and that entertained Duncan Bannatyne so much that he burst out laughing briefly creating mass hysteria in the den before things got back to the business with Peter Jones describing the venture as ridiculous. As the Dragons pulled out one by one the general feeling seemed to be that Andrew’s was such a niche market that they wouldn’t be able to help him while others felt that they didn’t think they’d see a return on their investment. So Andrew’s horror was realised when he left the den with no money though it did seem that he’d found a fan of his books in Duncan Bannatyne.
Sisters Lisa and Helen were the first pair into the den however this wasn’t their first time having been turned down after pitching ready meals back in 2005 a fact that was only bought up briefly by host Evan Davies. The restaurateur sisters were looking for a £50,000 investment for a 20% share of their business, which was a range of gluten-free sauces, had already been mildly successful with them getting a regular contract with a leading Chinese grocery chain. As Peter Jones previously went into business with Levi Roots on the now infamous Reggae Reggae Sauce he felt that the sisters’ product wasn’t good enough to make money, despite the fact they were in talks with Morrisons, and was the first to pull out. This didn’t deter the rest of the Dragons with both Duncan and Hilary offering the full amount of money for 40% of the business with both Debra and Theo describing the sisters as investible but ultimately deciding that they couldn’t better the offers given by their colleagues. The best moment of this sequence, and possibly the episode, were the looks exchanged between Duncan and Hilary when the sisters suggested that they work together however eventually they relented and the quartet became partners in Sweet Mandarin Sauces.
Next up was Matthew Conridge who was after £200,000 for a 10% share of his business which was an online retail site which sold a cornucopia of items including camping gear and children’s toys. Right from the off I found Matthew to be a bit oily in his horribly faded suit with his slicked-back har he thought he was a brilliant businessman luckily he had the Dragons in front of him in order to set him straight. As they questioned him they found out the intellectual property of the website didn’t belong to him while he also had quite a bit of stock hanging around in his warehouse that he wasn’t able to shift. Even though I’m not a businessman by any stretch of the imagination I know that it’s probably not a good idea to argue with the people you are trying to convince into giving you money. As several of the panel started to ridicule Matthew he started to get angry arguing with most of them so unsurprisingly he left without any money.
The final pitch in the den came from another duo this time friends Kelly and Jill whose innovative backpacks were already proving successful having been seen in adverts on the children’s channel Nickelodeon. These two women seemed to be incredibly smart with both having a background in advertising one having since become a single mum while the other used a redundancy money from Viacom to put into their backpack business. They wanted £60,000 in order to make enough backpacks so people didn’t have wait for their orders and in exchange for their money they were willing to give the dragons 10% of the business. After looking at their products, which included plenty of secret compartments and an outside water bottle, there was an almost unprecedented occurrence in the den when all five made an offer with Duncan wanting 25% and the rest all offering 30%. Like with the sisters, Kelly and Jill decided that they wanted to combine the expertise of two Dragons choosing Peter and Debra who initially were both unwilling to be equal partners but eventually agreed to take 15% each.
To me this was possibly the best episode of the series so far as all of the decisions seemed to make sense. As much as I liked him Andrew’s wasn’t an investable business while Matthew was just a bit of a prat thankfully the two groups of ladies proved that the right business wins over the investors. I also thought there were some great inventions in tonight’s small segments including wearable luggage and a novelty machine which will let people get married for £1. There were also two Polish sisters who bought some sort of inflatable exercise device with them that was completely laughed out of the den so it does seem that two heads aren’t always better than one.
Did you enjoy tonight’s Dragon’s Den? What was your favourite pitch? Leave Your Comments Below.
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