Episode 4: Gods of Olympus Board Game
Q: Explain your Dragon's Den experience?
A: It was a nerve wracking day, but a great experience over all. I met nice people, I learned a lot about myself, I received good feedback on my presentation and some good suggestions that I will take with me and that will help me improve my product even more.
Q: Who was the toughest Dragon?
A: I did not feel that one Dragon was tougher than the others. I was very well prepared and I expected the Dragons to be tougher than they actually were with me. I hope this was because I was able to answer all their questions clearly and with honesty or because they saw a professional and well prepared person in front of them. The business is mine and I know everything about it, therefore there would not have been tough questions.
Q: Were you nervous?
A: The whole experience felt to me like a Dissertation exam, with just as high stakes. The waiting, the preparation before, the walking up the stairs to face a panel of examiners, being prepared for the presentation but not knowing what will happen. So yes, I was very nervous. I felt the most nervous during the first phrase of my pitch when my voice shivered. But I am happy I did not freeze and managed to finalize the pitch. My nerves calmed a little while answering the Dragons Questions.
Q: Were you surprised by some of the questions?
A: I was not surprised by the questions, as I was prepared to answer any one, no matter how tough. However, I was surprised by the path the discussion went and the manner with which some question were asked.
No matter how well you rehearse and how many potential answers you prepare for at home, the nerves and the novelty of the situation will influence your performance. Even if you do great you will still see better ways to have answered the questions,... the next day.
Q: Who was most interested in your idea?
A: I believe that the Dragons were not interested in investing in a board game, at least at such an early stage as my product was. But I received great comments and my presence generated some heat in the Den. The three Dragons that showed more interest were Sean, Niall and Gavin.
Q: Would you have done anything differently?
A: The events in the Den happen so fast and I believe I handled my ground quite well. I was genuine and I knew my business. That is all one can do in any situation that is completely new. Yes, I could have answered some of the questions differently and I could have directed the discussions more towards the business model, but I don't think it would have changed the outcome. The Dragons have the control.
Q: Would you recommend applying for Dragon's Den to any other budding entrepreneurs?
A: Yes, definitely. The Dragons Den experience is a good personal test and a good test for the business. You come out with new ideas for your business, you may get some good advice and if you are lucky, you get a good investment and a very influential business partner. Even the preparation for the Den is a good exercise - you clarify your business plan and you get the chance to think of your business through the investor's perspective.
It was a good experience and I believe it will be beneficial for my business even without an investment.
Q: What does this mean to you personally?
A: I trust myself more after the Den. I know that I am able to present myself well enough in a very stressful and nerve wrecking situation. I am more confident in my capacity to handle a pitch and I am more appreciative of the importance of good preparation.
Even without having received an investment, my product was not dismissed and I received very good personal comments from the Dragons, so I still trust my product and I may have an even stronger entrepreneurial drive now.
I can understand better how contestants feel when I am watching competitions on TV and I certainly watch Dragons' Den with different eyes.
Q: In five year's time where do you see your product/company?
A: I still have the same objectives as before the Den. I will manufacture and sell Gods of Olympus Board Game and it will become a standard in the industry. I will achieve my sales objectives that were realistically set and I will launch a few other games, too. In five year's time I will be a known player in the toy industry. I am already on the right track.
Q: What is your lasting memory of the Den?
A: I don't think I'll ever forget my pitch, after so much rehearsing...
Jokes aside, the Dragons' Den experience as a whole will stay with me.