Episode 8: …anna ” hIorua
Q: Explain your Dragon's Den experience?
A: Daunting. I found the prep and meeting the other contestants helps to calm the nerves. Although I was waiting for a long time it seemed almost instantaneous that I was in front of the imposing Dragons. It is hard when you are preparing to know which way questions are going to go, but I tried to cover the main points. I believe I spiked a strong curiosity even interest with two of the Dragons. But alas it seems like they felt it was too much of a gamble at the development stage we were at. The biggest thing about the Dragons' Den experience was that it was the impetus for us to move quickly forward with our own plans to develop the business.
In the Den it is not the case that you feel like you are in a large room with some people on nice looking chairs. It is perhaps because I am a genuine big fan of the show, that as soon as I stepped into the room, I felt like I was on a tv show and there was no doubt about this.
Q: Who was the toughest Dragon?
A: I think Sean was the toughest Dragon. It was a shock to have a Dragon drop out so early and before he asked one question. I am not sure you can get a tougher reaction than that.
Q: Were you nervous?
A: Yes. It is hard not to be nervous in such a situation. I could almost see myself sitting on the couch back home and saying "Oh, he shouldn't have said that." I am getting married this year, so I think this will make the speech slightly less nerve racking.
Q: Were you surprised by some of the questions?
A: I don't think I was terribly surprised by any of the questions. However, I certainly was surprised by the comments of Sean and Ramona, so early in the pitch.
Q: Who was most interested in your idea?
A: I think Barry, was most interested in the idea. He seemed to understand it the best and realise that sometimes something new can come along and change the way this traditional bookmaker business is operated.
Q: Would you have done anything differently?
A: I would certainly have laid out my props differently. It is difficult to understand how your props are going to be laid out before you go into the room, but I think it looked a little like a leaning tower of Pisa. So I would certainly have liked to move one of these and make it more aesthetically pleasing.
Q: Would you recommend applying for Dragon's Den to any other budding entrepreneurs?
A: Yes, I would. It is a leap, but if you feel your business is ready for it, then it is a great opportunity to get yourself in front of some tough business people with equally tough analysis of your business. I also think every entrepreneur should sit down and be able to make a convincing argument for their business in a pitch format.
Q: What does this mean to you personally?
Q: In five year's time where do you see your product/company?
A: We see ourselves as a bookmaker with over 10% of the betting market in Ireland. We have low budgets but high expectations.
Q: What is your lasting memory of the Den?
A: That It was actually fun, although it is nerve racking, I definitely enjoyed the whole experience from the camera man shouting "action" walking up the stairs to the sight of the imposing Dragons on their chairs. I don't think my heart beat resumed to a normal speed until I had returned home.