Dragons' Den: Entrepreneurs in need of investment for invention
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The husband-and-wife duo entered the Den in 2015 seeking an investment of £120,000 in return for a 30 percent equity stake. They pitched their diving air safety device Limelight to the Dragons.
The solution monitors the pressure in a gas tank and flashes green when there is sufficient air and red when a diver’s air reserve is low.
Graham had been a diver for 40 years and he came up with the idea for the device 25 years ago due to the shocking figures for the number of deaths following diving in the UK, and the sheer number of divers running out of air.
They aimed to sell their product to scuba diving training schools and resort diving locations. With the number of divers growing daily, the couple knew that there was a big market for their product.
Graham said: “It’s a phenomenal market and it’s cost us 15 years of our life.”
Lorraine added: “It’s cost us blood sweat and tears, it feels like now is the last stop.
“We have nowhere to go and we have spent almost £200,000 of our own money and we’d like for you to invest in us.”
Graham explained that the market reaction to their product has “been amazing” and their idea has been patented in 10 different countries.
Despite the passionate pitch, none of the Dragons’ invested in the couple.
Graham and Lorraine explained to Peter Jones the financial struggles they had faced in the past due to other health reasons and medical expenses.
Lorraine said: “We lost it all. We lost our house, we lost our investments, we lost absolutely everything.
“We have had mental breakdowns.”
During their pitch they told the Dragons’ if they do not get any investments, then they may need to “call it quits” and say goodbye to their lifesaving products.
Graham and Lorraine explained that they did not want to license their product because they didn’t want other people tampering and changing things. However, the Dragons’ argued that this may be the solution to all their problems.
Touker Suleyman said that their dreams of saving lots of lives would be achieved “a lot quicker” if they find the right company.
He added: “Then I think your dream will come through.
“You haven’t got a business, what you’ve got is a patent.
“Licence it so that for every one sold, you will get some money. I’m not your partner, I’m out.”
Nick Jenkins, however, believed that the problem in the business was the couple themselves.
He said: “What worries me about this, is that the right businessperson would have struck a deal. In the last 10 years you have failed to do a deal. I’m out.”
Deborah Meaden said: “To me, the most important thing is that all of the work that you have put in, you get to actually enjoy it and it doesn’t become this awful thing that has made your lives worse.”
Sarah Willingham told the married couple: “You could have saved lives with your product, but you never did. License your product.”
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