This is the ten year anniversary of the Show “Dragons‘ Den” which has seen around £15 million of investments offered. This year will see the arrival of three brand new dragons.
So, who will be taking their seats alongside long-serving Dragons Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones?
Nick Jenkins is the founder of Moonpig.com. He launched the company in 1999, in the early years of the Internet. It took him a few years to get the business going but in 2011 he sold the company for £120 million to photobox.com.
Nick already invests in new start-ups and enjoys the challenges of getting a new business on the path of success. He has an interest in technology and Internet. He also sits on the investment committee of Impact Ventures UK, an investment fund which specialises in innovative, high growth social enterprises.
“I have always preferred the start-up stage to running a larger mature business. It is a more exhilarating journey and requires instinctive, fast decision-making,” Jenkins (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/dragons-den-moonpig-founder-nick-jenkins-joins-sarah-willingham-and-touker-suleyman-on-new-bbc2-panel-10116219.html)
Sarah Willingham is a “Mumtrepreneur” with four children aged between 4 and 9 years old. She made her success in the restaurant franchise The Bombay Bicycle Club, turning it into the largest and most successful Indian restaurant chain in the UK. She has now sold her shares in the chain for a seven-figure sum. She now works from home with her husband looking after the various companies that they have investments in, such as letssavemoney.com.
She presents herself as a northerner from Stoke, straight, no nonsense but also very soft. She loves good food and from the previous series she loved Trunki.
About the show Sarah says: “I’m so excited about joining this year’s great team of Dragons. I can’t wait to meet some more brilliant people with brilliant businesses to invest in and support” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2015/new-dragons-s13)
Touker Suleyman, a global fashion tycoon, is the owner of fashion brands Hawes & Curtis, Ghost and Low Profile Holdings. He has over 40 years experience in retail and manufacturing.
He came to the UK from Cyprus with his parents at the age of 5. He was successful very young but lost everything by the age of 30. With determination, Touker went on to build a thriving international clothing manufacturer.
He bought Hawes & Curtis when it was about to go into administration, which now has 28 branches in the UK and is opening more both here and overseas.
He has since rescued Ghost from administration and is relaunching the brand.
According to an interview in the London evening standard Touker says “I will try to be sensitive to the feelings of the people who are pitching. When they leave the Den, I want them to feel dignified. It takes brave people to come on the show and pitch to us.”
To invest, he says, “I have to like people. I have to have trust in them; I have to see they’ve got the passion for what they’re doing. Then I will invest and give them ‘Touker Time’…It’s me adding value, helping them develop the brand. I love brands. If something is branded, it has legs that can grow.”
This season of the BBC’s Dragons’ Den shows promise as a very exciting show and we are looking forward to watching it.
If you would like to see how some of our clients have pitched their ideas Dragons’ Den, visit our page https://www.innovate-design.co.uk/dragons-den/. For Free information on how to protect and pitch your new product idea to the dragons request our Info Pack.