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Monday, December 19, 2005

Dragons Den This Week (UK)

Tuesday 20th December, 8pm BBC2 The behemoths of big business give their verdict on an invention to take hte boredom out of exercise, a revolutionary new sick bag, a vest to exercise chest muscles and a childrens meditation business...

Tonight, the prickly business series winds up with one question hanging over proceedings: will steely American tech mogul Doug Richard finally take the plunge and invest in something? So far this series, he's preferred to pour withering scorn on all the the hopefuls, dashing their hopes with a "just so you know, I'm out" every time. Meanwhile, if you've waited all series to see meanie health-club king Duncan Bannatyne put in his place, now's your chance. He gets into trouble when he sneers at one budding entrepreneur too many; a sports academic who gives as good as he gets, to the delight of the other dragons. The star of the show is Ryman supremo Theo Paphitis. His one-liners are always a joy: tonights gems include telling a nervous engineer, "you come across as a bloke who could work out the square root of a jar of whelks, but if I ask you to take the lid off of that jar, you're going to struggle".
Wednesday 21st December, 7pm BBC2 Dragons Den - Where Are They Now? - Umbrella Vending Machines on London Stations (Bannatyne & Jones) was just one idea from the 100-plus entrepreneurs who entered the Dragons Den. A year on from the first series, Evan Davis investigates if any - including designer jewellery (Elnaugh), a glamorous glossy magazine (Jones) and a board game (None) - have been successful.
Whenever you see the stumbling courtship dance between budding entrepreneurs and wealthy backers on Dragons Den, you wonder how things went after everyone left that scruffy warehouse to return to their day jobs. Did the hopefuls who landed investment deals sail on to success? Did those who went away empty-handed crash and burn? Here's our chance to find out.
Dragons Den Book Your Idea Can Make You Rich
Many of us dream of running our own business, but lack of experience and entrepreneurial skills often prevent people from making that first step. For those with the nouse, confidence and, crucially, vision it should be easy - but a great idea doesn't mean investors will be queuing up at your door. In the BBC TV series "Dragons' Den", entrepreneurs were put on the spot in front of a panel of potential investors. Given only minutes to pitch their idea, the pressure was on - some simply frazzled in the fiery breath of the dragons, others sweated it out, made it through, and saw the money on the other side. Using case studies from the series, updates on the progress of the successes and failures - here's one of the "successes", but who got the best deal: Tracie Herrtage wanted GBP 54,000 for her suspendable Le Beanock - think the bean bag meets the hammock suspended from high ceilings and lofts to replace your sofa at a price of around GBP 900! The male dominion of Dragons mocked the idea and thought the prices swung too high, the concept ungrounded and it wasn't an interesting proposition for their equity. Rachel Elnaugh wasn't put off and agreed that Tracie's vision hit a niche market. Yet business is business; unflinching Rachel seized her opportunity and cut the tightest deal yet, buying 49 per cent of Tracie's company as sole investor. The done deal: 49 per cent company shares for GBP 54,000 investment. With essential insider advice and tips from the Dragons themselves, this handbook will guide you through the hazardous process of finding your product, identifying your market, developing and maximising your business acumen, honing your presentation skills, and finding the right partner. And most importantly, how to close the deal when you do find it.

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