Series 5: Episode 2

Broadcast: 10/03/2012

Sarah Nic Lochlainn and Sarajit Chanda

Name: Aileen Rogers
Idea: A. R. Feminine Products trading as Ready Girls
Investment: ¤50,000
Equity: 15%
Location: Dublin

The Pitch:"I was looking for a Dragons expertise and contacts to help bring Ready Girls products into the UK and further afield."

How did you come up with the idea: My idea came about when my eldest daughter was reaching puberty. She wasn't too keen on the idea. I wanted to give her a pack that would have everything she'd need if she got an unexpected period when she was out and about. There was nothing available in the stores so I put a period pack together for her. Sometime later after "The Event" we were chatting. She told me how much having her pack had meant to her. I genuinely had made a very difficult event seem a lot less scary to her. This was my Eureka moment. It was then I decided to develop emergency period packs for young tweens and teens.

Personal Information: I am a married mum of three children, two of which are teenage girls. I graduated from college in the early 90's with a degree in Business and Marketing. I worked for over 15 years in services marketing and took time out after my son was born. I was a contented stay-at-home mam up until the Ready Girls idea came to me, and that was it. I was off.....

View Aileen Rogers's response


Alex Sasic

Name:Dr Tyrone Bowes
Idea: Irish Origenes: Use the results of a commercial ancestral DNA test to pinpoint precisely where your direct male ancestor lived when he first picked his surname. Investment needed to automate this process.
Investment: ¤120,000
Equity: 25%
Location: Dublin

The Pitch: Use your DNA to rediscover you Irish heritage.

How you came up with Idea: It really was a combination of a few things: my experience and my job; the current economic climate and lots and lots of hard work and research.

In 2010 I discovered that my commercial DNA test result could be used to pinpoint precisely where my direct male ancestor lived approximately 1000 years ago when he first took his surname. I then set up the Irish Origenes website ( and people have, since June 2012 employed me to do this analysis (Case Studies) for their own DNA test results. To date I also do Scottish and English Case Studies ( and a Welsh Origenes website will be launched later in the year.

Personal Information: I am a scientist by training and have always been interested in my ancestral origins. With a surname like Bowes and growing up in Dublin I was conscious of my 'English surname.' I had assumed that my ancestors either arrived in Ireland with the Normans or were 16th Century Planters. As a Scientist I wondered whether commercial DNA testing could answer the question of my ancestral origins. To cut a long story short it could and it turns out that my ancestors were Gaelic Irish and lived in County Laois and that Bowe's is simply an Anglicization of an extinct Irish surname. I then set up Irish Origenes and started the business of interpreting peoples DNA results. I have no business training but saw an opportunity to make some money.

In recent times and after a move west she has spent her time in work involving capacity building, community development and training & education in various Government Programmes e.g. LEADER & Skillnets. She currently works as a Manager of the Mayo Local Employment Service.

View Dr Tyrone Bowes's response


Ollie and Jean Boyce

Name: Joe Doyle
Investment: ¤10,000
Equity: 20%
Location: Clondalkin, Dublin 22

The Pitch: An online service for landlords and lettings agents to check out the past performance of potential tenants before they become a tenant of theirs.

How did you come up with the idea: As I mention in the pitch, I am a landlord, and these days with negative equity and rents just not meeting mortgage repayments, I had a scenario where a tenant left me with bill totalling thousands of euros worth of unpaid rent and property damage, I was trying to find a way to stop myself from falling victim to this situation again in the future. I'm a bit stubborn in that I won't take no for an answer, so when people told me that It wouldnt be possible for tenantreference to do what we wanted it to do, it just made me more determined.

Personal Information:

My career to date !!! I come from Clondalkin, I left school after my junior cert then at aged 16 I began my apprenticeship as a bricklayer. When I finished my apprenticeship I began to make use of all this money the banks were throwing at people and began to buy and build on-off houses. In 2007 after I got a leak in the roof of my house, I spotted a gap in the market after which I set up where myself and all the team have been working hard ever since helping the public deal with home insurance claims and the associated repairs.

About 2 years ago I had the idea for which I'm hoping we will be able to say the rest was history, but we won't say that just yet, only time and lots of hard work will tell.

View Joe Doyle's response


Fran O'Brien

Name: Katie Hassett
Idea: Championship Wellies
Investment: ¤50,000
Equity: 15%
Location: Tralee, Co. Kerry

The Pitch: Children's and adults wellies bearing the county colours and the official GAA crests.

How you came up with Idea: Both myself and my kids were watching my husband play a club match in a very mucky pitch last summer, and we had forgotten to bring our wellies!!

Personal Information: My name is Katie Hassett and I am married to Liam (All Ireland winning Captain for Kerry in 1997 and holder of three All Ireland medals). We have two kids, Sophie and Mark. I graduated in Public Relations and I am very passionate about the GAA.

My background is in sales and I have many years experience working for multi-national companies in Ireland and also in London. From the moment I saw the first episode of Dragon's Den I was hooked, I said to my husband I am going to be on that show some day! However at that stage I did not even have a business idea! I am very innovative and I can't wait to manage my own marketing campaigns! I have now resigned from my current job and I am so looking forward to all the challenges and laughs Championship Wellies will bring!

View Katie Hassett's response


Fran O'Brien

Name: Niamh O'Dwyer
Idea: Organic Little One
Investment: ¤50,000
Equity: 10%

The Pitch: Organic Little One is a range of organic 100% pure fresh frozen weaning purees, baby and toddler meals. The closest thing to home cooked without the fuss!

How you came up with Idea: Organic Little One came from experience of having two children. Niamh stopped working full time to raise the children in 2008 and found it difficult to get foods that she wanted to feed them when they started weaning. She wanted these meals to taste like proper, wholesome foods so she started making recipes.

Personal Information: Grew up in Cork, from a family business background. Studied Business in Tralee Institute of Technology and holds a BBS honours degree. Began working career with Jury's Doyle Group as a sales executive. In 2001 started sales career selling Ostrich and exotic meats and then in 2002 started as a sales executive for Payzone Ireland. Managed a portfolio of accounts with sales of approximately ¤400 million.

View Niamh O'Dwyer's response


Fran O'Brien

Name: Dr Mick Mc Keever
Idea: Warmer Wedge
Investment: ¤100,000
Equity: 20%
Location: Leopardstown, Co Dublin.

The Pitch: DIY hot water tank heat storage device that reduces your hot water heating bills.

How you came up with Idea: It was through a combination of work I was doing on an EU funded research project and a problem I was trying to solve with solar powered hot water tanks. The problem was I wanted to double the heat storage capacity of a tank in the cheapest way possible. No solution existed and in reality plumbing or changing of a perfectly good tank was out of the question as it is expensive. I wanted to develop a product that could work with an existing tank and be fitted by anyone who can change a light bulb.

Personal Information: Mick is an Engineering lecturer in the School of Electrical Engineering Systems in DIT. He is the inventor of Warmer Wedge and is in the process of Spinning Out the company from DIT. His work to date on Warmer Wedge has been funded by Enterprise Ireland and supported by DIT's HotHouse technology transfer office, working closely with Dr. Andy Gray on the Warmer Wedge patent and funding. Mick has been working on Warmer Wedge over the last two years in the Dublin Energy Lab in DIT getting the product market ready.

View Mick McKeever's response

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