About the Show
Dragons' Den is back presented by Richard Curran. RTÉ's Dragons' Den will give hopeful Irish entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their business schemes in front of five wealthy and successful venture capitalists. Will they invest and finance the dream? First, the entrepreneurs must convince the experienced Dragons of the merits of their business ideas.
The Irish Dragons are successful entrepreneurs and business leaders who have been there, done that.
Crucially, it's the Dragons' own hard earned cash on the table. These are shrewd business people who have heard it all before and who are not afraid to say 'no' in the harshest of terms. But if they spot an idea with that extra special something, they and they alone will have the power to make dreams come true and invest money from their own pockets.
Dragons' Den is produced by Screentime ShinAwil Productions Ltd and is filmed on location at Taylors Three Rock, Rathfarnham.
For more information about the Dragons' Den format, please click here.
The Rules of the Den
If you think you have what it takes to stand before the Dragons' then there are just 9 simple rules you must follow.
Rule #1 - The Pitch
Entrepreneurs must start the meeting by stating their name, the name of the business, the amount of money they are pitching for and the percentage of equity they are willing to give away in their company. They must follow this with a pitch of up to two minutes. If it exceeds two minutes, the Dragons can stop entrepreneurs at any point but they cannot interrupt the initial pitch.
Rule #2 - Props
Entrepreneurs entering the den may bring props that are relevant to their pitch. Remember you are not permitted any paper/notes in the Den so everything must be on the tip of your tongue!
Rule #3 - The Q & A
Entrepreneurs do not have to answer all the questions asked but what they do or do not choose to answer may affect the outcome, for example, if they refuse to reveal net profits. Entrepreneurs may ask the Dragons any questions that help them determine whether they are suitable investors for their business. It is important to note that anything that is discussed in the Den can be potentially broadcast.
Rule #4 - Opting 'Out'
Entrepreneurs' time in the Den is over after all five Dragons have declared themselves 'out'.
Rule #5 - Investments
The entrepreneur must secure at least the total amount they have asked for at the beginning of the pitch. If a Dragon offers less than the full amount, the entrepreneur must try and make up the total by securing an investment from one or more of the remaining Dragons. Each entrepreneur must leave the Den with at least the full amount they asked for or they exit empty-handed. The entrepreneur can negotiate more money than was originally requested as this is usually to redress the sticking point of an entrepreneur giving up more equity than was initially offered.
Rule #6 - Multi-Dragon Investments
Each Dragon is working as an individual investor. The Dragons can invest as little or as much of their own money as they want. It is up to the entrepreneur to persuade them to match the required investment or pledge to invest a portion thereof. As above, it is acceptable for the entrepreneur to seek investment from more than one investor in order to make up the total amount required. A full investment may involve between one and five parties.
Rule #7 - Refusing Investment
An entrepreneur can refuse investment from a Dragon if they think they are an unsuitable investor or the deal on the table isn't right for them.
Rule #8 - The Deal
The deal agreed on the day is an unwritten agreement that depends on due diligence checks, and relies on the integrity of both investor and entrepreneur to freely enter the transaction and be fully committed to seeing it through. However, the deal is solely between the Dragon and the entrepreneur and after additional meetings, if an agreement cannot be reached, neither party is legally obliged to complete the deal.
Rule #9: The Advocate
Entrepreneurs are permitted to have an advocate on standby in the Den, to help them answer some of the Dragons' questions. This advocate must usually be someone who is directly involved in the business. They can ask the Dragons to meet their advocate at any point after the two-minute pitch.