Series 3: Episode 5
Name: Sophie Morris and Graham Clark
Idea: Kooky Dough
The Pitch: We supply to retail outlets rolls of raw cookie dough in four different flavours which consumers simply slice and bake for delicious homemade cookies in just 8 - 10 minutes
Came up with the Idea: Graham came up with the idea after seeing how popular cookie dough is in the States while there on a J1 Visa. He thought cookie dough could do really well in Ireland due to Irish people's love for biscuits, but a cookie dough that had good ingredients and not highly processed as it tends to be in America. Both he and Sophie started selling their cookie dough in Farmer's Markets throughout Dublin in October 2009 to see if people would take to the product. Following great reactions from customers they spent January and February 2010 developing the packaging and branding for retail with new label designs and tailored point of sale units to enhance the products presence on the shelf. They launched into their first retail outlet in March 2010 and after just 10 months are now stocked in 65 stores, including listings in the multiples Superquinn, Dunnes Stores, and Tesco Ireland.
Personal Information: Sophie has a degree and Masters in Economics from Trinity College Dublin. She has always had a strong passion for food and cooking and so, decided to do the 12 week Ballymaloe Cookery course after college. She then went into a job in the financial services industry due to her Economics background.
Graham has a Finance degree from UCC and naturally pursued a career in Financial Services. Graham and Sophie met working in the same company and he told her of his idea for cookie dough. Their company was taking a real hit due to the Economic Downturn and when Graham lost his job they decided to just give Kooky Dough a shot!
Name: Alison Cummins & Tara Lane
Idea: Aliara ltd
The Pitch:Aliara is a direct selling company that uses network marketing to sell a variety of products including jewellery, handbags, makeup, etc.
Came up with the Idea: The Aliara business model has scope for moving into global markets and creating unlimited profit potential. The idea was developed following discussions about the barriers to business faced by both retailers and wholesalers. Alison's background is wholesale and Tara's is retail so both are aware of the difficulties faced by both sectors. Aliara removes these barriers and this means that Aliara distributors can work from home - part-time or full-time and have up to 4 sources of income. There is no capital outlay required and no financial risk to them.
Alison is the former founder and owner of The Life Company, an online retailer that imported from China, USA and UK. Previous experience of Alisons includes various aspects of medical/pharma businesses in posts ranging from operations management, middle management, costing, tendering and contracts, customer services, accounts, marketing, quality control documentation, packaging and shipping. Alison is committed to ongoing learning and has completed many courses to improve her skillset including the Management Development Programme run by Waterford Institute of Technology.
Tara is the founder and Owner of Harmony Holistic Health Ltd. Tara has previously started and sold two Internet businesses, Essential Therapies Ltd and Curvy Fillies. Tara's passion is the innovation and building of businesses along with the support and mentoring of people who wish to start their own small business. She is the PRO Officer of the Kilcock Business Association and has organised many successful events. Her skill set includes marketing, sales and promotion, office admin and accounts. She has also completed the Management Development Programme and it was here that she met Alison.
Name: Gerry & Bernie Hanley
Idea: The Hanoheatmaster
The Pitch: A conversion energy saving device that turns your existing oil boiler into a condensing boiler for 1/3 of the cost.
Came up with the Idea: Gerry noticed that there was a massive amount of heat being emmited into the atmosphere from the flue of his own oil boiler which is situated in the boiler house, so much so, that he decided to purchase special flue gas analysing equipment and to his shock discovered a flue temperature of 285 ° and an efficiency reading of 82%. With this information in hand, he designed prototypes and tested a number of systems and eventually came with a retrofit condensor system.
Personal Information: Gerry's background is in the design and manufacture of precision components using computer aided design software (cad) for the Pharmaceutical, IT and Automotive sector. He more recently diversified into the area of injection moulding where he designed another product called the Hanno Strapwinder which featured in the first series of the Dragon's Den. Bernie is responsible for the administration, distribution and marketing side of the business.
Name: Darren Rudden & Colin O'Brien
Idea: Clever Closeline
The Pitch: The Clever CloseLine is a rotary clothesline with an automatic rain sensitive cover which automatically deploys over your clothes when it starts to rain and automatically retracts when the rain stops.
Came up with the Idea: The idea for the product came to Colin a few years ago when his mother was lamenting the fact that her freshly washed and hung-out laundry had gotten soaked during a sudden rain shower while she went to work. She asked Colin, an award winning engineer, if he could come up with something that would keep her clothes dry in the rain and so the idea of the Clever CloseLine was born. Colin spent some time working in the Clever CloseLine on his own and in 2008 he teamed up with Darren Rudden and Greg Tobin to form Atacama International. The product went through a number of fundamental design changes during the next 2 years (originally the cover unit could be fitted to any existing rotary clothesline.now they produce the complete unit, originally the cover did not automatically retract when the rain stopped.now it does) and they are now at a point where they have secured export orders and are ready to go into production.
Darren Rudden is originally from Cavan and now lives in Waterford. He has a background in engineering and quality assurance and completed his BSc in Quality Assurance in 1995. Since then, he worked as Quality Manager for a number of companies including Carraig Donn Industries in Westport and Hasbro Ireland in Waterford. In 2004 he set up his own management consultancy business which helps companies of all types to implement, maintain and improve management systems including ISO9001, ISO14001, OHSAS18001, EN50131, IS999 etc. Darren is married to Siobhan and has 2 young children.
Greg Tobin is from Tubbercurry in Sligo and now lives in Beaumont, Dublin. His background is engineering and he has a BE in Mechanical Engineering and Design. Greg worked as a design engineer for a number of companies including Munekata and Tractech and in 1999 he set up Spear Technologies. This company helps entrepreneurs and established businesses to design and manufacture products of all types. Greg is married to Anne Marie and has 2 young children.
Colin O'Brien is originally from Julianstown, Co. Meath and following some travelling he made his way back to Julianstown where he now lives. Again, Colin's background is in engineering and he has a BE in Mechanical Engineering. Colin has worked for companies such as Glen Dimplex, Moffat Engineering, Tesab Engineering, Siemens and Raytheon. In 2006 Colin started to develop his own products and that is where the Clever CloseLine came from.
Name: Dean Archer
Idea: Archer Golf
The Pitch: New golf brand allowing golfers to customise the shape & look of the golf club head with 18 new custom grind options.
Came up with the Idea: Dean was previously been the distributor for a well known US golf brand in Australia, and also helped run the Tour program for that company in Australia. This invloved scouting for up & coming Australian golfers and looking after the contracted US Tour players when they visited to play on the Australian golf tour. Invariable after those US Tour players appeared in Australia, his company would get calls to the office from golfers looking to buy the same set of clubs those tour players were using, not the ones they sold as standard through the golf shops. Most of these tour players were using irons & wedges that had been specially customised or modified (custom ground) to better suit their games, but this 'custom grinding' service wasn't available to the general public. Dean sensed an oppurtunity, and set about finding a way of bringing this 'custom grind' service to the market, and Archer Golf is the result - a new brand of golf equipement that offers all golfers the option of modifing the shape of the golf club head to better suit their games.
Personal Information: Dean worked in the golf idustry for over 20 years as a distributor of US/Global golf brands and devloper of domestic golf brands for the Australian market. He built up one of the largest independent golf distribution companies in Australia during that time, and sold that business in 2008. As he is married to a Kildare girl, after the business sale they decided to move the family back to Ireland and he then began the process of designing and devloping the Archer Golf line.
Name: June Keirns
Idea: JR Pads
The Pitch: To launch JR Pads as a successful and trusted new product.
Came up with the Idea: June felt that all slimier products on today's market leak when the pad becomes out of shape or when the woman is laying down. She has researched, tried, tested and used over 6,000 pads and has talked to hundreds of women over the years about this subject so she knows there is demand for this product, because it works. The JR Pad's unique application method is the elasticised silicone strip with positioning ,anti-leakage feature. Once the pad is put into place the strip warms and seals the key areas where leaks accrue, the pad fixes to the woman body and not her underwear like all other products.
Personal Information: June is qualified as a food and beverage manager. She set-up and ran the first ISP in Mayo to offer local dial-up rate for the internet. In the last two years she went back to college and last year she completed a course in Business Studies where she received Student of the Year 2010. She trained for eight weeks with mountain rescue so they could carry a quadriplegic friend up Croagh Patrick. She has organized a number of music concerts to raise money for a building project in Haiti. She has also had the honour of handing a house over to a Haitian family with George Hook. She was involved in charity music CD for Haiti with 15 known bands from around Ireland to be released sometime this year. She does slideshows in schools and colleges about Haiti. June got engaged to a great man and is now proud to say she has done the Spencer Tunick nude photo shoot in Co Clare and has been on the Dragons Den all in the last two years.
Name: Garry Bennett
The Pitch: MyTown.ie is a local community website that allows users to find local information online. The website also allows businesses to advertise to their local target market.
Came up with the Idea: While living and working in Australia, Garry tried to use the internet to keep in touch with what was happening at home. It was then that he realized that there was very little presence of local communities (towns) online. Initially he thought that he could build a website for his home town, and then he realized that this same platform could be used to create a website for any number of towns. He then began working on the development of www.MyTown.ie which was launched in 2008. Following launch, the first 12 months were spent developing the website further and entering data about each town featured on MyTown.ie. The revenue model that supports the website is the business directory that he has for each town, that allows local businesses to choose the town(s) and category that their listing appears for an annual premium. MyTown.ie also has banner advertising positions available around all of its content meaning that every page can bring in revenue.
Personal Information: MYTOWN WEB LTD was founded and is wholly owned by Managing Director, Garry Bennett. Garry successfully managed the design and development of MyTown.ie, which launched in February 2008. Garry has been directly responsible for generating ¤80,000 of sales through MyTown.ie. Garry comes from an online background, having worked as an Engineering Manager with Yahoo! in London. Garry also worked as Senior Project Manager for Australian Web Development Company, SydneyWeb.