Dragons’ Den is a reality TV program series which features entrepreneurs who deliver their business ideas to a board of venture capitalists, to be able to ensure investment finance from them. Dragons’ Den originally started in Japan but the series now has been have been created and produced in various countries across the world. The name of the show, the style and the structure is based upon the Dragons’ Den’s UK version of this Japanese series.
The Format of the Dragons’ Den Show:
The contestants on the Dragons’ Den are generally service operators or product designers who believe that they have a feasible and a potentially quiet a profitable and a bankable business idea, but lack the right sense of direction and funds for the same. At the Dragons’ Den show, these participants deliver their business idea to a board of five venture capitalists and rich business people, who are also known as the ‘dragons’. The participants at the Dragons’ Den show tell beforehand the amount of investment or money they need for their business idea to operate and the rules of the Dragons’ Den show is state that in case the participants are not able to raise that amount from the panel, i.e. the ‘dragons’, they will receive nothing. In exchange or return, the participant at the Dragons’ Den provides a percentage of the stocks of the company to the ‘dragon’ and this is an important and a significant area of negotiation.
Once the participant makes or delivers their presentation at the Dragons’ Den, the panel investigate and dig in to their idea further, which generally can reveal an embarrassing situation if the participants have not really studied and researched their business idea in and out, for they would be unable to tackle the questions of the ‘dragons’ at the Dragons’ Den.
The panel at the Dragons’ Den has so far agreed for making investments in about a hundred ten companies, with Theo Paphitis and Peter Jones, since the year 2005, having agreed investing in twenty nine business each at the Dragons’ Den, which is followed by the ‘dragon’ Deborah Meadan who has made investments in businesses about twenty one times since the year 2006 at he Dragons’ Den, leaving Duncan Bannatyne, who has made seventeen investments since the year 2005 and last but not the least, James Caan, who has made fourteen business investments since the year 2007 at the show Dragons’ Den.
Dragons’ Den Online:
Dragons’ Den has also been successfully launched in an online version in the UK, which was hosted by Dominic Byrne and featured 2 new ‘dragons’: Julie Meyer and Shaf Rasul. Entrepreneurs at the Dragons’ Den online can pitch their business idea for a £50,000 at the max and like the television series of Dragons’ Den, the participants must be able to accomplish the whole amount from the board of dragons else they would have to leave the Dragons’ Den show without anything in hand. Contrasting to the Dragons’ Den’s television version, the entrepreneurs at the Dragons’ Den online apply to the series by submitting their ‘raw pitch’ of 3 minutes.
The Rules of Dragons’ Den:
The participants need to start on the Dragons’ Den show by introducing themselves with their names, the amount that they are pitching their business idea for, the name of their business idea as well as the equity percentage from their company they are willing to offer to the board.
The participants need to follow this along with a three minute pitch at the Dragons’ Den. In case their pitch exceeds the three minute mark, the ‘dragons’ at the Dragons’ Den can stop the participants any time they want to, however, the ‘dragons’ cannot disturb or disrupt the participant’s initial pitch at the Dragons’ Den.
- The Questions and Answer Series:
It’s not necessary for the aspiring entrepreneurs to answer all of the questions that are asked by the ‘dragons’ at the Dragons’ Den, however, whatever they choose to answer or not to answer can affect the result, e.g. in case the entrepreneur refuses to disclose the net profits. The entrepreneurs could ask the board at the Dragons’ Den questions which they think can help them understand and know whether or not they are the right angel investors for investing their business idea.
It’s however important to understand that anything that the entrepreneurs and the panel discuss at the Dragons’ Den has the potential to be broadcasted, thus the participants cannot assert later on that they did not say so if they already have said so on the camera before at the Dragons’ Den.
- Opt Out
The time of the aspiring entrepreneur at the Dragons’ Den comes to an end if all the 5 ‘dragons’ at the show announce themselves ‘out’. Apart from this, once the board member declares her or himself ‘out’ at the Dragons’ Den, they cannot come back to negotiate on the business deal and unless the reason is compelling enough, they ought to remain silent and let the others at the Dragons’ Den go on with the negotiations.
The aspiring entrepreneur at the Dragons’ Den show has to secure at least the complete amount that they asked for at the starting of their pitch. In case a ‘dragon’ at the Dragons’ Den offers anything less than the amount asked for, then the entrepreneur has to try to make up their total of their initially asked amount, by ensuring an investment at the Dragons’ Den from either one or more ‘dragons’.
Every aspiring entrepreneur at the Dragons’ Den show must secure the total amount that they initially asked for; otherwise they would have to leave the show without anything in hand. The aspiring entrepreneur at the Dragons’ Den show can negotiate for more money which they requested originally for as this is generally to compensate the entrepreneurs sticking point of giving the ‘dragons’ more equity in the company than what they initially offered.
- Multiple-Dragon Investments
Each ‘dragon’ at the Dragons’ Den works as a separate and an individual investor. ‘Dragons’ at the Dragons’ Den can invest as much money as they wish to. It’s all up to the participant to convince them to invest in their business idea in order to match up to the required investment.
At the Dragons’ Den, it’s all right for a participant to get investment from one or more than one ‘dragons’ to match up the investment amount to the amount they initially asked for.
- Refusing an Investment
A participant can refuse an investment from the board or the ‘dragon’ in case he or she thinks that the ‘dragon’ is not a suitable investor for them or they are not being offered the right deal at the Dragons’ Den.
- The Deal
The agreed upon deal during a day is basically an agreement which is unwritten and it also depends on diligence checks as well as is dependant on the entrepreneur and the investors’ integrity to enter the transaction freely and be wholly committed to see through it.
The deal however is purely between the entrepreneur and the ‘dragon’ and post the extra meetings, if the parties cannot reach upon an agreement, then neither party is obliged legally to finish the deal.
- The Advocate
The aspiring entrepreneurs at the Dragons’ Den are allowed to have a counsel on standby at the Dragons’ Den, to assist them in answering to a few of the questions put up by the ‘dragons’. This counsellor or advocate should generally be a person who is involved in the business directly.
Any advocate who attend the Dragons’ Den should be screen-tested, pre-approved and should have undergone gone through personal checks like the aspiring entrepreneurs.