Inventor turns down Dragons and braves it alone

October 16th, 2012

The inventor of Gigwam, an innovative new tent system, last night appeared on BBC’s Dragons’ Den and gave an impressive presentation to the Dragons. After being made two offers of investment from Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden, Kent based Dustin Toland took the brave decision to reject them and go it alone with his idea, Gigwam, which is set to revolutionise how groups of people camp in the future.

“Turning Theo and Deborah down was a tough decision, but at the end of the day it was hard to justify giving 45% of my business away. Owning my own company and developing my idea has always been my dream. Now that I have that, I don’t want to give it away. The initial interest in Gigwam has been incredible both here and in the USA, I think I have got what it takes to make it a real success.” Dustin Toland.

The Gigwam system came about as the result of a creative spark from Dustin when he felt that the music festival experience was not as social as it could be. His desire to create a real “community” when using tents in any situation led to the development of his product. The Gigwam looks much like a standard tent, but with one main difference; a series of interconnecting tunnels that allow the owner to “interlink” the individual hubs in order to create an integrated social community that needs to be seen to be believed. Dustin sought the services of Innovate Product Design who helped develop his idea through design, protection and commercialisation.

Managing Director of Innovate Product Design, Alastair Swanwick, has seen the project grow from a sketch on a sheet of paper to the product that it is now, was keen to sing the praises of the Gigwam commenting that: “There was a real buzz around the Gigwam from the day it was received as an idea. The product has huge potential to change the festival-going and camping experiences worldwide. The fact that two Dragons’ wanted to invest in Gigwam is testament to Dustin’s great idea and determination. It has been a pleasure working on the project and being involved in the early stages of its success.”

Gigwam is now being sold online at, Camping World Horsham and IBEX camping. Dustin is pursuing a number of conversations with large retailers who are interested in stocking Gigwam. Dustin is also developing other ideas to compliment the Gigwam range of products.

Innovate Product Design helps individuals develop their new product ideas and inventions. Innovate are a company with a 10 year history of providing honest, reliable advice that many inventors have used as a springboard to success.