The Truth about Dragon’s Den
Simon Heap gave a presentation about his experience of Dragons Den to Bishopsteignton Probus Club. The BBC contacted him and made background checks about ownership and financial status of his company. When he reached the filming venue the sound crew, lighting specialists and runners etc. spent an hour setting up the equipment in a studio set comprising cardboard bricks and windows covered in photos of outside scenes.
He then had three minutes in which to make his pitch without using notes. When they started the recording, the equipment would not work. The director said “cut” and it was quickly established that BBC technicians had not connected the plugs.
Simon demonstrated the equipment, the Dragons examined the gear and asked questions. His Finance Director was then asked about the value of their orders and the panel said “Are they orders, not just projections ?” The cameras rolled for two hours in order to have enough material to be reduced to fit the scheduled screening time.
Dragon Peter Jones said, “I like this. I like you. I’ll make you an offer but I need another Dragon.” Deborah Meaden agreed. Simon had asked for a £100,000 investment in return for 10% equity, but they offered £100,000 for 30% equity. Following negotiation, they agreed to go down to 20% after one year if the company met the sales figures. After the show, Simon was put in touch with the Dragons’ company. This led to meetings and Simon asked exactly what would be done for him and they said it would be life changing, but would not specify further so Simon said “Then we’re out”.
Attached photo: Dr. Roger Avery (left), former club chairman, thanked Simon Heap