I have a really clear idea of what I’m looking for in a business investment

Thanks to Dragons’ Den, I have a really clear idea of what I’m looking for in a business investment. Primarily, I’m looking for a fantastic person. An outstanding entrepreneur can carry a mediocre idea, but the most revolutionary idea wouldn’t be able to get off the ground with a mediocre entrepreneur.

Secondly, I’m a product gal at heart – that’s not to say I wouldn’t invest in a service business but growing up in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) world means that products excite me because I can see the potential in them. In particular, I love products where there’s been some real innovation and when they provide a genuine solution to a real problem. It’s easy to see through the gimmicky products and to spot the ones that are really going to change someone’s life.

Take a look at some of the investments I’ve made so far in the Den!

Nylah's Naturals

Series 18 Episode 2

Nylah’s Naturals produces award-winning, vegan friendly, cruelty free, sensitive products for afro and curly hair.

Kam was inspired to set up her business by her daughter Nylah. She wanted to create products that would make her love her afro hair, while being kind to her eczema-prone skin.

The other Dragons felt that Kam’s company wasn’t quite ready for investment, but I saw something special in Kam and knew I couldn’t let her walk out the door without making an offer.

I’m so glad I did! Kam and her business have had an amazing reaction since the show and we have some super exciting things in store for Nylah’s Naturals!

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Series 17 Episode 3

MakTok is a Malaysian chilli paste created by entrepreneur Will Chew.

When Will came into the Den, he had such a huge impact on everyone in the room. His story of coming from Malaysia, recreating his mother’s dishes with his own chilli paste creation and hoping to make his dream a reality hit everyone unexpectedly. You could see it on screen, and it was just as emotional in real life.

I’m so pleased to say that Will has been overwhelmed with the amount of orders that he’s had since appearing on the Den. It seems a little help was all he needed to take this fantastically delicious product to the next level. I can’t wait to see where the journey takes us next!

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Series 17 Episode 13

FlipTop is an innovative fold away table for the care home sector.

The product and start-up company was created in 2016 by South Wales-based husband and wife team, Philip and Lakshmy Pengelly.

The patent-pending fold away product that they created is able to fit onto the side of any standard chair found in a care home.

Philip and Lakshmy had lots of experience in the care sector, having run their own care home for a number of years, and they identified a gap in the market for a product to replace bulky meal trays and trollies, which didn’t fit close enough to the chairs and could cause accidents when left out.

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Series 17 Episode 5

PipeEasy, created by salesman Teirnan, was a fantastic product: an easy-to-use device which allows users to cut precisely cut around pipes.

He was very real and pulled no punches. I especially loved how when I made him the offer, he just accepted it on the spot. He got what he came for and he clearly wasn’t too fussed about getting a better offer.

There things that made me want to invest in Teirnan. He had done a really good job on his patent and he mentioned during the pitch that he had lots of ideas of other products so using PipeEasy as a base, I could see help him to build a whole business out of one product.

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Sara's Advice

‘The customer is always right’ – it’s the age-old saying and for your business to...

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