The 2nd episode of the Irish Dragons Den aired tonight. Here’s some of the better ideas…
Kate was looking for €30,000 in return for 20% of the business (website catering for hen parties). Kate presented very well and much like the pedigree cattle lads last week, came across as passionate and ambitious. I hate when the dragons quiz people on figures and insist on specific figures – the reality is people pick figures from the sky – you cannot accurately predict how a website will do and how quickly it will develop.
Thankfully, two dragons invested though. Kate got €30k but sold 40% of the business. I think it’s a decent idea but again, like pedigree cattle, a limited market. It needs a huge social networking campaign to get going – that’s where the target market is imo – on bebo/facebook etc… even if those people don’t directly use the site, they’ll have friends who will. All it takes is some creativity or novelty value – even a facebook/bebo application to create interest.
Kate also owns henparty.ie without the dash but was worried google would penalize her in the serps. If it were me, i’d cut my losses and switch to henparty.ie ASAP. The hash will kill a lot of potential traffic.
The competition isn’t fierce either in google, starting a new site & hitting the frontpage is do-able very quickly – if i had time i would take it on as a challenge but looking at he competition, i think kate is safe switching to henparty.ie – a drop in rankings would only be temporary at worst. Do not fear google – quality and useful sites will always be rewarded, eventually.
Tony gave a decent presentation. He’s got italian links and his business is selling homemade pizzas, mainly to rural areas. Nice idea, but what put me off was the fact he was working from his own converted garage.
Obviously cash is needed to buy proper premises & equipment but it just put me off straight away. One of the dragons picked up on it too and questioned the legality of it all. That effectively killed any interest in the business. But apart from that, the whole set up looked pretty prefessional and i thought it had decent potential, but would need way more investment.
Again, like a lot of these decent ideas / businesses, they would have done well a few years ago but with cash so tight these days, i don’t know many people who would order a pizza (regularly) when they can buy a frozen one for a few euro.
Sals pizza is also on twitter by the way 🙂 Small businesses could learn a lot from Tony – a website (a useful website with menu, prices etc..) & an active twitter account – that’s how it’s done 🙂
Adrian’s ‘kaylight’ (not sure if that’s the correct spelling) is basically a set of LED’s integrated in to bags to illuminate them when opened. Clever. Very clever. None of the dragons asked about water damage or heat etc… i’m not sure how well it would hold up?
Anyway, Adrian had me in stitches. He called it a ‘winter project’, he has other stuff on during the summer and basically he was gonna get a patent and proper plans for the products and then sell them on
He also used some really strange examples of why the product would come in useful; he gave an example of a girl using a lighter to illuminate the bottom of her bag – she could then set fire to her own hair and this product could help solve that problem – WTF!!
He also had literally zero profit projection figures to give which i thought would have killed the dragon’s interest completely, but remarkably, no…
He got the investment – €10,000 for 25% of the business (he was originally giving away 5% – i laughed at that!). Still, this is an excellent idea and although i don’t like the prototype (with wires and batteries hanging out), a slimline, white led version would definitely sell and i’d buy a bag with this feature for sure.
The prototype was using a big battery (not an AA, but a flat one of similar size from what i could tell). It was also using red LED’s??? Why not white LED’s? they would give out more light!
Flaws with show
On the end shot with Richard closing the show, the camera was zooming in and out as if a child was playing with it – looked very unprofessional imo. Also, the word ‘entrepreneur’ is pronounced ‘on-tra-pren-ur’, not ‘on-trop-on-ur’ like Richard keeps saying – surely someone has picked up on this and told him how to pronounce it properly??? At first i thought it was some clever irish term for an entrepreneur but no, other people have noticed it too… maybe i’m missing something though??