Daykin got his start as an entrepreneur at age 13, while looking for a tutor. He noticed there was no easy way to find them, and so he set-up the website Tutor Magnet for personalised tutor matching, eventually dropping his own tutorship to run the business.
A year later he would come up with the idea for Grip It Fixings; a wall fixture business. His parents separated, Jordan went to live with his grandparents in Wiltshire.
“My grandparents built an extension for me to move in to,” he told Real Business. “I was being quite fussy, and wanted blinds on the walls but when I tried to fit them I kept hitting the top of the window.
“So me and my granddad went to the garage and put something together… and it became Grip It.”
Grip It is a plastic fixing which can be placed into a hole in the wall, from which two plastic half-moon bits are pivoted to be used as hooks, or secured to a wall with glue.
They applied for a patent in 2009, which then came through in 2012.
He said: “We were already in about 500 stores by then – mostly independent ones – and I was thinking how we could expand our reach.
“We decided that Dragons’ Den would be the quickest way of getting into the market.”
The episode was shot in February. “It was terrifying,” Jordan remembers, with a nervous chuckle. “You’re standing for around 10 minutes build-up, and then it’s just: ‘Oh God, here we go,’ and you’re pitching.”
Once he found his rhythm, however, things seemed to flow. He pitched for three minutes, with another hour and a half of questions. It all went well, apart from when Peter Jones tore a hanging radiator from a piece of plasterboard, attached by a Grip It.
“It was so embarrassing. But the plasterboard had been left out in the corridor all night so it was wet. We also hung a chair from a plasterboard on the ceiling. I asked Peter if he wanted to swing on it and he said ‘Not after I just tore your radiator from the wall, no.’ But Deborah [Meaden] did and was swinging from it!”
In the end Meaden gave him an offer: £80,000 for 25 per cent equity.
“The deal was only finalised at the beginning of July […] we’ve already increased our reach to 1,400 stores. We ramped up stock as well – but we’re already sold out.” They’re now stocked in some major players, like Wickes.
“It’s just crazy, it doesn’t feel real,” Daykin said.
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