They leapt into the Dragons’ Den lair and won

By Sandy Rashty, September 13, 2012
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Dragons' Den success: James and Richard Gold and Lewis Blitz

Dragons' Den success: James and Richard Gold and Lewis Blitz

Three entrepreneurs in their early 20s triumphantly secured a £120,000 investment on the opening episode of Dragons’ Den last Sunday.

Brothers Richard and James Gold, and Lewis Blitz, who all went to Immanuel College and Birmingham University, spent two hours pitching their accessories business to the five Dragons, before receiving three offers and accepting £120,000 from Peter Jones in exchange for 30 per cent of the business.

Though all the Dragons were impressed by the Skinnydip business, which supplies trendy tech accessories and has a projected turnover of £3.3 million by 2014, Mr Jones was initially distracted by one partner in particular.

“I was very intrigued because while you were [each] doing your pitch, James was miming it,” said Mr Jones.

“My mum’s going to kill me!” said James, explaining: “I learnt the whole pitch, in case Lewis or Richard wouldn’t remember it and I could stand in.”

The “gruelling” pitch got the entrepreneurs a 20 per cent equity offer from Deborah Meaden, and 25 per cent from Theo Paphitis in exchange for the requested sum.

“It was a really difficult decision, but in the end Mr Jones’ experience in the tech world meant more than the equity. His offer was one that we couldn’t refuse and we all thought he was the best guy for us,” said Richard Gold.

The graduates, who are currently in the process of “typing up” the deal with Mr Jones, initially asked for a £120,000 investment in exchange for 10 per cent of their company.

Currently they supply Debenhams, Next, Republic, River Island, Harvey Nichols and Tesco with a range of accessories, including smartphone covers and headphones.

Last updated: 3:35pm, October 16 2012