Dragons Den winners: The original and the best
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Dragon’s Den has run since 2005, providing 13 seasons of would-be entrepreneurs trying to appeal to investors. During that time, people have seen victories, defeats, and the birth of countless successful businesses. Express.co.uk has explored five occasions where Dragons and contestants shared heartwarming moments on camera.
Mak Tok’s Chilli Paste
In 2019, Will, the self-proclaimed “heart of Mak Tok”, took to the stage in front of the dragons.
After opening with a catchy jingle on his guitar, he presented a chilli paste based on a recipe he “nicked from his mum”.
The enigmatic presenter managed to reduce the dragons to tears after recounting his journey to making his sauce and paste range.
He explained he longed for a taste of Malaysia (his home) while studying in England, and his mother helped by sending over ingredients and a recipe.
His moving proposal reduced Sarah Davies to tears, prompting her to invest in a third of the company alongside Will and his cousin.
Kameese Davis, the creator of afro hair care brand Nylah’s Naturals, entered the Dragon’s Den earlier this year.
Her April presentation sought a £50,000 investment from the dragons for her product, named for her daughter Nylah.
Ms Davis told the dragons she created the product to help instil the belief in her daughter – who suffered from eczema – that her hair was “magnificent”.
She added that she nurtured the award-winning brand without capital while raising two children and working a part-time job.
The pitch spoke to Sarah Davies, who offered unflinching support, causing Ms Davies to break out in happy tears as she declared: “I believe in you”.
Back in 2012, Dupsy Abiola graced the stage of Dragon’s Den in search of backers for her graduate recruitment platform.
Intern Avenue sought to connect employers with students and graduates seeking work.
But the highlight was ex-lawyer Ms Abiola herself, who wowed two dragons as she sought £100,000 for her business.
Her proposal turned emotional as she spoke about her father, a “very, very successful entrepreneur” and passionate defender of democracy detained during the Nigerian military dictatorship.
She explained that her family was “terrorised”, and they “lost everything” before he ultimately died under the regime when she was 16.
Ms Abiola walked away with the investment she earned, and business leaders selected her as one of Britain’s most influential Black businesswomen in 2013.
Peachy Lean founder Sharon Keegan entered the Den earlier this year, in April.
While there, she explained she got the call for the show not long after losing her younger brother Alan before the lockdown.
She broke down in tears while explaining her proposal, and the dragons praised her strength.
They turned into happy tears as three dragons offered their support.
Ms Keegan walked away with the investment she needed and the backing of Touker Suleyman, Sara Davies and Tej Lalvani, who took on 11 percent of her company.
Landscapes for Learning
In 2018, Craig Hale walked into the Dragons Den seeking investment for Landscapes for Learning ltd.
The former teacher requested £50,000 for 15 percent to facilitate “learning through play”.
After letting the dragons test some of the equipment, Mr Hale settled down for a more in-depth presentation, where he invoked his daughter, explaining she fell into a fire at a young age.
As he tried to extinguish the flames, he said, his own hands caught fire, and the experience “ruined” him.
While welling up, he explained he chose family over work, adding his daughter recovered well, and the experience drove him forwards into his new business.
Mr Hale came out with the offer he required and moved the dragons in the process.
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