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Dragons’ Den pitch Peter Jones called ‘ridiculous’ now one of show’s most successful products

Dragons’ Den pitch Peter Jones called ‘ridiculous’ now one of show’s most successful products

Who's ridiculous now, Peter?

We all become absolute business professionals when we watch Dragons’ Den, let’s be real.

Sitting on the couch with our cuppa, we judge and criticise the pitches wondering who on earth would buy the product.

But despite having its fair share of weird and wonderful pitches, the BBC show has also seen a decent number of businesses go on to become household names.

And sure, the actual Dragons in the den are the real professionals – but they don’t always get it right either.

Just like the time Peter Jones slammed a product ‘ridiculous’ before it went on to be a key staple across UK stationery stores and make £1.2million in sales. Yeah, ridiculous. You can watch the moment here:

Jones was rather scathing of husband-and-wife team Neil and Laura Westwood’s pitch, branding it ‘almost ridiculous’ and questioning ‘why would I use this?’.

The Westwoods’ pitch was for their magic whiteboard product - a roll of A1 whiteboard sheets that stick to anything due to static.

Their logic was that you sometimes don’t know what facilities will be provided in a meeting room, so can come prepared with the sticky whiteboard sheets rather than having to plan on lugging a full-sized whiteboard around with you.

Back in 2008, the couple from Worcester pitched the product to the Dragons, looking for a £100,000 investment in exchange for a 15 percent stake in their company.

Pretty savage, Peter.

Jones, however, was not impressed, saying: “Why would I go and carry that around in my briefcase?”

Laura tried to explain the gap in the market she and her husband were trying to fill, but Jones wasn’t having it and he savagely walked up to the magic whiteboard they’d brought along to the pitch and wrote on it: “I’m out!”

Jones’ fellow Dragons, Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis were a little savvier, however, and reached an agreement with Neil and Laura to invest £50,000 each in exchange for a 40 percent combined stake in the business.

It turned out to be one of their most successful investments on the show.

Neil and Laura Westwood.

Shortly after the Westwoods’ appearance on the show, Paphitis - who is Chairperson of Ryman Stationery - went on to stock the whiteboards in 230 of his company’s stores.

Since then, the whiteboards have become a staple in office supply stores and schools, with the company exporting to more than 20 countries.

According to Business Live, sales soared from £45,000 to £1.2 million and in 2014, Neil and Laura bought out Theo and Deborah’s shares in the business, giving the dragons a whopping £800,000 return on their £100,000.

Who’s ridiculous now Jones?

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Business, Money, TV and Film, BBC