How to Pitch for Dragons Den

So you think you’re ready to pitch for Dragons Den? The process of the open auditions first requires pitching to producers before you can just make it in front of the actual Dragons. The numbers show  that of 2500 auditions only around 250 are invited to actually pitch to the Dragons and even fewer actually make it on air. Stiff competition to say the least!

So from our experience of making it past the producers, what are some key ingredients that can help ensure you make it to the Dragons lair? Here’s 3 tips.

Have a Real Business

Have  an actual product or service that solves a problem, has been proven and is scalable. Traction is attractive; sales figures, purchase orders, partnerships, collaborations, distribution, awards, patents. Know all of these numbers cold and share them; it’s music to the Dragons’ ears!

Henkaa has been operating for a few years now and we had solid numbers to share. You might not have enough time to share everything or it might not come out right so in addition to auditioning in person, make sure you also fill out the online application! It’s another way you can make a compelling pitch and ensure that none of your facts or numbers get missed if you’re nervous. They do cross check it!

If you don’t have strong metrics yet, consider spending more time building your business until you do and the likelihood you will make it on will increase substantially.

Tell a story

Share your journey. Get emotional. Be real. Anyone who’s watched Kevin O’Leary on Dragons Den or Shark Tank may dispute the need for this because, in his famous words, it’s all about, “How am I going to make money?” But at the end of the day, we are all human. The producers are human, the viewers are human, and the Dragons are, well, human too.

Henkaa CEO Founder - Joanna Duong Chang on How to Pitch for Dragons Den
At Henkaa, yes, we do sell convertible dresses and accessories that you can change and be worn in an infinite number of ways. The reason I came up with the idea though is because I had been a bridesmaid 6 times and I was stuck wearing dresses I didn’t like and never wore again. I  had no space in my 500 square foot condo to store so much excess clothing. On top of that, I hated paying to check in suitcases when travelling because I over packed for every possibility. I was just overwhelmed by clothing. So I created Henkaa to solve all of these problems that I faced and that women face everyday. True story.

If you can make your product or service connect and appeal on an emotional level, you’ll be light years ahead. Remember it’s part pitch and the rest questions. Rehearse the one side and know the rest. If you’re speaking from the heart, there’s not much to memorize!

Think for TV

Do something catchy. Command attention, be memorable and conversation-worthy. What can you demonstrate? How can you role play? Can you involve the producers? What visuals can you use?

With Henkaa, we’re fortunate enough that we can have live models changing up the styles on their dresses on the spot. It’s like magic. From our experience at trade shows and fashion shows, that usually catches peoples’ attention!

Essentially, a pitch for Dragons Den is an audition to a reality TV show so you need to understand and align with that. If you look at past pitches, there’s always a “special sauce” that can be extracted. Some businesses have trouble demonstrating their product for television but can really wow with sales numbers. On the other hand, some have an impressive and interactive product but don’t have anything to show when it comes to sales and growth. Dig deep and figure out what your special TV sauce is and work it!

So those were our guiding factors when we assembled our pitch for Dragons Den. We made it past the producers and got in front of the Dragons to pitch it all over again! How will you position your business? Can’t wait to see you on the Den!

xo Jo

 

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