Dragons' Den: Entrepreneur rejects offer in 2016
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As the hit BBC show, Dragons’ Den has returned for its 20th series, many viewers may be wondering have any of the ingenious and inventive ideas from the reality television program have ever been a success story. Husband and wife duo, Neil and Laura Westwood, entered into the Den in 2008 seeking investment for £100,000 for a 15 percent equity stake in their company, The Magic Whiteboard.
The Magic Whiteboard, which the couple first created in 2006, is a roll of A1 whiteboard sheets that will stick on anything needed, all thanks to static.
After the incredible idea was showcased on Dragon’s Den in 2008, Neil and Laura’s Magic Whiteboard received a £100,000 investment from dragons, Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden.
They could see the pair’s vision and offered them an investment of £50,000 each, despite Peter Jones thinking their idea was “ridiculous”.
They gave the Dragons’ 40 percent of their business in return for the investment.
The Magic Whiteboard is now an office and classroom must-have, and in these times it is also the perfect tool for those regularly working from home.
Since the show, the pair have seen a lot of success and have even bought back their shares from Meaden and Paphitis have given them a return of £800,000 from the original £100,000.
In 2014, Neil and Laura regained full ownership of their Magic Whiteboard company.
By 2016 they had sold one million copies and their product continues to grow.
Neil and Laura Westwood have branched out into other innovative office supplies, including children’s tabletop whiteboards, reusable sticky notes and ‘tree-free’ notebooks.
The product is now a classroom and office staple and is sold globally.
The board is now stocked in all Ryman stores, Sainsbury’s, Viking Direct, and online retailers.
Theo Paphitis was able to put the product into 237 of his Ryman office stationery stores.
South Wales Argus labelled The Magic Whiteboard as one of “the most successful products” from Dragons’ Den.
Other products that made the list include Levi Roots Reggae Reggae Sauce, Chocbox and Wonderbly.
While not all of the pitches and products receive investments, some have gone on to become hugely successful businesses in their own right.
Hungryhouse.co.uk was an online takeaway food order and delivery service founded in 2006.
Co-founders Shane Lake and Tony Charles entered the Den in 2007 seeking a £100,000 investment in exchange for 11 percent equity in the business.
Although Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden quickly opted out of doing business with the duo, offers of £100,000 were eventually received from Duncan Bannatyne and James Caan.
Sadly for these two Dragons, this investment would later collapse, with a higher funding offer of £150,000 coming from an alternative source.
In 2018, hungryhouse merged with its competitor JustEat and ceased trading under the hungryhouse moniker.
The online takeaway service was acquired for £200 million, spelling out a huge win for the business-savvy Shane Lake and Tony Charles.
Dragons’ Den is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
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