Episode 6: Conor Murphy
Q: Explain your Dragon's Den experience?
A: I really enjoyed the Dragon's Den experience. The build up to the day that I went into the Den was hectic. I had so much to do and very little time to do it, but I got everything done in the end and I feel like I was ready for my pitch. When I applied for the Dragon's Den, I knew that getting investment would be a long shot, as my business is really at the very early stages, but I thought it was worth trying anyway. I don't regret doing it and I enjoyed the overall experience.
Q: Who was the toughest Dragon?
A: I think Gavin Duffy was the toughest Dragon because he had experience in the food sector. He set the tone for the rest of the Dragons who maybe didn't have as much experience in the industry. Ramona Nicholas was definitely the nicest. She gave me encouragement as the pitch went on, which helped keep me relaxed.
Q: Were you nervous?
A: I was absolutely fine walking up the stairs, and walking into the studio, but when I stopped and turned to face the Dragons, the nerves really kicked in! I felt like the proverbial rabbit in the headlights!
Q: Were you surprised by some of the questions?
A: No, I don't think so. I think a lot of the questions were predictable. I had put a lot of thought into what questions the Dragons might ask, and I think I had thought of them all. You just have to think like a Dragon, think like an investor, and think of what information you would want to know as an investor.
Q: Who was most interested in your idea?
A: It's hard to say really, I'm not sure. Gavin Duffy was the last Dragon to declare himself out, and he took a long time to make up his mind, but I never got the impression that he was really interested. Sean O'Sullivan and Ramona Nicholas had nice things to say about me personally, and my own achievements so far, but I don't think they were really interested in the business.
Q: Would you have done anything differently?
A: If I was going in again I would be more conservative with my sales figures. I set out to describe a very ambitious business plan with potential for serious growth, but if I was going again I would be more conservative, as I got the impression that the Dragons thought I was too ambitious, unrealistically ambitious in their opinion.
Q: Would you recommend applying for Dragon's Den to any other budding entrepreneurs?
A: Yes, I think I would. It's a real challenge and a great experience. The important thing is to be prepared for it not to go as you had planned. You need to consider how you would feel if the Dragons didn't like your idea. As long as you're strong enough to take their rejection and soldier on, there's no reason why you shouldn't take the risk and apply.
Q: In five year's time where do you see your product/company?
A: In 5 year's time I hope to see the nurish brand of products in the supermarkets in Ireland and abroad. At the moment I'm focused on developing our products further with a view to bringing them to market in Autumn 2013. I'm also building up my website (www.nurish.ie) and Facebook and Twitter accounts, which are designed to provide information about healthy eating to consumers.
Q: What is your lasting memory of the Den?
A: My lasting memory will be walking down the stairs, surprised and dissappointed at how the pitch went, but immediately determined to prove the Dragons wrong and to make this business work, whatever it takes.