Ed’s Top 5 Tips for Dragons’ Den

Tips for those wanting to succeed in

Dragons’ Den

Entrepreneur Ed Wray on succeeding in the den

  1. Entertainment: Remember the programme makers are not going to give air-time to a “dull as dishwater” presentation. They’ll give the most entertaining pitches the most air-time. For BarbeSkew, I should have taken two girls on stage, dressed one up as a sausage and one as a beef-burger and had them trying to throw themselves into a bread-bun in order to cause as much anarchy on stage as possible! Remember Levi Roots – he was selling chilli sauce but came on stage singing with his guitar – and his pitch was a brilliant success!
  2. Entertainment: Yes entertainment again – Do they want the perfect pitch? No!!! Remember the lady that had a nervous giggle all the way through? Rubbish pitch but fantastic TV! Think of something that will entertain the masses. Make it unique; make people’s jaws’ drop; make it stand out from the crowd.
  3. Entertainment: Yes entertainment again just to really make the point! Give the audience something to remember. Call Deborah “Debbie” – she hates it. Do it once and it’s a slip up – do it 5 times and you’ll be in the final edit calling her “Debbie” 5 times with her gradually losing the plot! Or even better do like Trigger does on Only Fools and Horses calling Rodney “Dave” – keep on calling Hilary “Hilda” or Duncan “Gordon” and after the fifth time you’re a Dragons’ Den superstar!
  4. The figures. It’s like selling anything. All the Dragons want is the best deal ever. The biggest proportion of your business for the smallest outlay of money. So give it to them. Say you need £50k for 25% of your business. It’s all based on getting an offer – getting the offer gives you 10 minutes of air-time.
  5. Get the offer – but don’t take the money! Read Felix Dennis’s book on “How to Get Rich”. If you want to be rich then ownership of your business isn’t the important thing – it’s the ONLY thing. So if the Dragons offer you money, say “Yes” to get your 10 minutes on TV and then don’t sign any of the “Due Diligence” papers when they arrive. I can assure you that if the Dragons have said yes, then it will not be a difficult process to find a lender offering you a much better deal where you don’t lose any equity and can pay off the loan amount over an agreed period of time without losing any ownership of your business.

Ed Wray on his Time in the Den

Entrepreneur Ed Wray on his Time in

Dragons’ Den

It is part of every entrepreneurs dream to have their product or service featured on Dragons’ Den. With BBC audiences of around five million and endless repeats on Dave, the programme offers an instant marketing solution for new businesses with the opportunity of a cash injection and business advice from the experienced Dragons themselves.

Ed Wray, designer of the BarbeSkew, the most innovative BBQ on the market, started his company in 2007 and was featured on Dragons’ Den in 2008 and on Dragons on Tour in 2009. Ed was spotted by the Dragons’ Den production team when he was talking at the British Library about how he set up his business in early 2008. The production team chased Ed and asked him to post his application form to a “special email address” where it would get “priority consideration”.

What followed was a one hour phone interview followed by practice pitches at the BBC TV Centre and ultimately the final invite to Pinewood Studios for the actual filming. Around 10 contestants are invited to a days filming and every effort is made to keep the contestants well away from the Dragons so no contact is made before the show. Filming of each of the 10 contestants climbing a set of (fake) stairs take place and then each contestant waits for their turn to be called.

It quickly becomes apparent that some contestants have been through the whole process before and have waited in the Green Room all day without being called due to time running out. Small bite size filming takes place whilst waiting providing the BBC with clips for their website.

Finally you get called. You walk through the maze of Pinewood Studios (trying to spot James Bond) and then wait at the bottom of the stairs with your heart pounding …..