Dragons' Den reject wins major wine award
Filed under: News
A wine sold in its own cup that was unceremoniously booted out by the billionaire entrepreneurs from Dragons' Den has scooped a major award at the wine 'Oscars'.
How the rich get richer
James Nash, a packaging expert, came up with the 'cup-a-wine' concept - wine sold in a plastic glass with a tear-off lid. He asked the dragons on the TV show for budding entrepreneurs to support his idea with a £250,000 injection in return for a quarter stake in his business in 2009. But he was given a tough time over his financial projections, and his concept was branded "tacky".
Scottish serial entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne said at the time: "This doesn't work as a selling item. People do not want to buy wine in plastic glasses like that. For that reason, I'm out."
How the rich get richer
But Nash's 'cup-a-wine' idea was snapped up by Marks & Spencer which is selling it as Le Froglet Rosé. M&S has sold nearly a quarter of a million since the launch in June 2010, and the wine has just won the Great Value Champion Rosé as The International Wine Challenge.
The wine in a cup has been so popular with commuters and picnickers that M&S has extended the range, which comes in three flavours, to include a four-pack.
The lesson is: don't give up if someone rubbishes your idea, as long as you are convinced that you have an innovative idea and have drawn up a sound business plan.
The most successful Dragons' Den rejects
Other ideas that were dismissed by the dragons but have turned out to be money-spinners include:
The Trunki suitcase for children has sold more than one million units in 62 countries and won over 50 design awards. The plastic wheelie suitcase that is also a ride-on toy for kids when they get tired or bored was ridiculed on the TV show six years ago. Telecommunications tycoon Peter Jones said: "I meet people like you all the time - you think you have something. I tell you, you don't."
When Bannatyne appeared on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? in 2008 and was asked by Chris Tarrant "Is there a sort of classic of one you've missed?" he admitted: "There is one, a little suitcase on wheels... every time I go to an airport I see one or two of these of these... it's the only one we missed out on I think."
John Richardson's anti-ageing face cream Natox - branded as a natural alternative to Botox - was ripped to shreds last year but is now on the shelves at Boots and Selfridges. The £90-a-bottle cream is sold in 15 countries and has made millions of pounds in turnover.
Dragon Theo Paphitis told Guy Jeremiah he'd rather stick pins in his eyes than invest in his concept. Bannatyne even threw one of Jeremiah's collapsible water bottles across the room. But the Aquatina bottle received a more favourable reception at Marks & Spencer and Blacks Leisure, and is sold in 15 other countries.
Natalie Ellis' nonspill dog bowl was also rejected by the dragons, who told her: "America is the graveyard for British business." But the travel bowl that keeps your dog hydrated at the back of your car has since been described as "doggone brilliant" by the US National Enquirer and the entrepreneur has made millions in sales in America. Orders started flooding in minutes after Ellis' appearance on Dragons' Den in 2008. A year later she even received a special order for the Road Refresher from US President Barack Obama for his dog Bo.
Frank Hannigan wanted the dragons to invest in Yougetitback.com, an online business which protects, finds and replaces mobile devices such as laptops and smartphones. He was told by one of the dragons that "my tax returns would be a more exciting read than your business plan". Undeterred, he found an investor a few months later and his business is now flourishing.
Laura Chicurel pitched her idea for a luxury range of eco-friendly leather products made from waste fish skins in 2006. Ignoring the dragons' judgment that salmon was not exotic enough to become a luxury leather product, she started making leather wallets, portfolios and other accessories. Her company Chicurela also designed a salmon skin leather interior for Toyota's IQ concept car in 2007. She notched up a turnover of £50,000 during her first year of trading and won a Cartier Women's Initiative Award for entrepreneurship.
"It didn't knock my confidence, instead it made me determined to prove them wrong," she said about her appearance on the Dragons' Den show.
10 of the weirdest celebrity products
- 1. Bill Wyman's metal detector
- 2. Barack Obama Chia
- 3. Sylvester Stallone's pudding
- 4. Paris Hilton's craft supplies
- 5. Snoop Dogg's "smokeable" lyric book
- 6. David Lynch's coffee
- 7. George Foreman's Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine
- 8. Heidi Klum's sweets
- 9. Danny DeVito's Limoncello
- 10. Steven Seagal's energy drink