Despite Dragons’ Den
In 2006 Rob Law appeared on Dragons’ Den with his invention, a child’s suitcase that they could sit on or pull along behind them. After Theo Paphitis broke the prototype Richard Farleigh offered Rob £100,000.00 for 50% of the Trunki company. His offer was turned down!
Strangely, in February 2014 Carrie Bate presented her coffee bag concept to the Dragons and was offered £100,000.00 by Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden. Once again the offer was rejected.
Carrie had resigned her primary school admin assistant’s position in 2011 in order to produce her cafetiere quality coffee bags. Another simple idea that nobody had thought of previously, least not at the top end of the coffee market.
Carrie wasn’t alone in thinking that there was a gap in the market. With stunning packaging and excellent marketing The Little Coffee Bag Co products are already in Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Holiday Inns, Virgin Trains and other top end operators.
Apart from both entrepreneurs being on Dragons’ Den and both having the self-belief to turn down serious offers, Rob and Carrie were alike in not standing around moaning about the lack of support, they followed their convictions and developed their ideas to success.
Having spent a lifetime backing new–start businesses, the thrill for me isn’t celebrating the big winners but seeing how most people blossom and develop when they are supported and encouraged.