It’s a surreal moment walking into the Den. You wait in the lift for a few minutes whilst they get ready, but it felt like I was in there for a lifetime! I just kept going over my opening line, so I could say that confidently without fluffing it up.
The doors open and there they all were staring at me. I walked forwards to the spot on the floor I was told to stand out, looked at them all and started talking! I felt quite calm, considering, I could remember my pitch and was just excited to tell them all about me and the business.
As the pitch went on I noticed a few smiles and nods off some of the dragons and this really encouraged me. I came towards the end and I was just so relieved to be through it, I’d remembered everything and that nerves hadn’t affected my delivery.
The first thing anyone said was Peter Jones and he said I was superb, Steven said I should be proud of myself, and he was inspired by me. In fact they were all wonderfully supportive. The Q and A went on for about 2 hours, it was very detailed and you don’t see 90% of it on tv. We went into a lot of detail about the business plan, figures, my retail and export plans, current investors and staff. It's much more of an informal discussion and I felt at ease quite quickly. After some time I got my first offer off Sara, it was an incredible moment. Not only had I managed to come into the den and answer all of their questions, and not muck up, but one of them actually believed in me! Then another offer, then another! I just couldn't believe it.
Once the offers were in and the other 2 were out, the negotiations went on for about 30 minutes, as I had 3 separate offers, that then turned into 2 dragons teaming up, there was much discussion! I accepted the offers and then that is it! You go and do your final pieces to camera about how it went and you wander back to your dressing room. Deborah and Steven came and met me for a quick chat, and then it was the long drive home and a celebratory Mcdonalds for tea as I was starving!
A few common questions I’ve had about pitching in there:
Do the production team stop you or get you to re-do any bits? No, it’s all organic and free flow, as I was in there 2 ½ hours, there’s plenty they can use! If you feel unwell you can stop proceedings though.
Are you allowed any notes at all? No, nothing. Nothing on my hands, no paper, no presentation!
Do they do your hair and make up? I chose my own clothes, but they let you know what to avoid wearing. The LOVELY hair and make-up lady did mine, and she was fabulous.
How long are you there for? I was at the studio from 12:30 until 5pm. The first few hours are hair/make up, setting up your table, quick pitch run through with the production team and the pieces to camera.
Did you meet Evan Davies? No, I didn’t which is a shame! He said lovely things about me though. The pieces to camera are done with the production team.
What happened afterwards?
Steven and Deborah came to meet me afterwards, due to covid it was socially distanced! But we had a quick chat, but then they had to get back for the next pitch.
Did you see any other entrepreneurs?
I saw them in the make-up room before hand, but because of covid we weren’t meant to be going near others! I had some brief chats, but I was very focused on my own task and not getting too involved with others to be honest. I didn't want to get too chatty with anyone and think 'oh no, these guys are brilliant' or start comparing myself.