Dragons Den rejection meant nothing to the 2014 success of these 4 companies

Cheeky Chompers founders Amy Livingston and Julie Wilson, said: “You only see about 12 minutes on the programme but we stood in front of the Dragons for half an hour of gruelling grilling and then they told us we were delusional.”

It was their Neckerchew, a chewy teether and dribble bib moulded into one product, that eventually led to their receiving no investment. It wasn’t the actual product they found fault with, but found that the two mums’ targets were unrealistic.

But they have no regrets about appearing on the show.

“It was a useful experience as we had to really think through how our business was going to grow while preparing for the show,” said Wilson. “And because when the show aired everyone saw the Dragon’s saying how much they loved our product, it was a great endorsement for us.”

They surpassed their targets and sold over 100,000 Neckerchews within 18 months. They can now be found in a majority of UK retailers and distribute to 26 different countries. This has also led to the launch of a new product: the Comfortchew, which is essentially a teething comforter attached to a teddy.

“I’d say Peter Jones gave us the hardest time on the show,” Livingston also added. “But I think that was because he felt we needed the challenge. And after filming, Duncan Bannatyne joked on social media that he’d eat a hundred of our bibs if we made the targets that we set on the show.

“So once we smashed our goals we challenged him to do as he promised, but he said that he had meant if we reached our three year targets.”

When it came to Gordon MacSween and Gon?alo de Vasconcelos’ intriguing urinal game, Captive Media, the concept of the game itself caused quite a scene in the den.

?They just kept going on about how it was a peeing game,? said MacSween. ?I was never able to move the conversation on because they were locked into the novelty of it. You don’t get professional investors trying to come up with killer one-liners when you’re pitching, scribbling put-downs while you’re answering a question.?

So the two founders took a different route after their defeat on TV. They ended up discovering the power of crowdfunding, which made it possible for them to reach their ?250,000 target in just 27 days.

They sold 9.4 per cent of their play as you pee video game business on equity platform SyndicateRoom in order to come up with the finance.

?The Dragons will rue the day they let this company slip through their fingers,? exclaimed Vasconcelos. ?Two years after it launched, Captive Media has demonstrated its enormous potential, and its appeal to both professional and amateur investors seeking good returns.

“For it to reach 100 per cent of its investment target in barely three weeks speaks volumes about Captive Media?s great promise, and the desire of investors large and small to profit from exciting young businesses.”

If you’re dying to found it what a urinal game looks like – here it is for your viewing pleasure:

Share this story

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Send this to a friend