After a quick paced pitch with plenty of technical demonstrations Julie Meyer opens up the questions, querying how Alex first came to the idea. Alex explains that after searching high and low for a product that would do the job he decided to make his own.
Shaf Rasul gets straight to the numbers and Alex confidently provides figures for tooling and production costs. Shaf then queries whether Alex has considered licensing the product but Alex replies that he’s not interested in this route. Julie tries to get to the bottom of this statement, asking whether the Ladder Buddy is the first in a line of DIY products and Alex says he hopes that is the case.
Shaf likes the product but both Dragons are unconvinced of Alex’s entrepreneurial skills and whether he can monetarise the Ladder Buddy. Julie asks whether he’s considered bringing a commercial director on board but Alex declares that he cannot make the wage commitment.
Julie then finds fault with Alex’s plan to target the American market first, suggesting that he proves himself at home first. The inventor defends this decision with statistics suggesting the DIY market Stateside dwarfs that of the UK.
Julie is the first Dragon to come to a decision. Despite thinking it’s a good idea, she needs to see more commercial value in the product before she can invest. She declares herself out.
Shaf states that he doesn’t believe Alex could get the product to market by himself. He makes an offer he thinks the inventor probably won’t like: £30,000 for 70% equity.
At three and a half times the equity he was initially prepared to give away Alex is reluctant to take the offer but Shaf takes a tough line and will not negotiate.
Determined to see the Ladder Buddy on the market, Alex finally accepts the offer and shakes hands with his new investor Shaf.