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by Joanna Duong Chang


Creating the perfect formula for a Dragons Den success story is no easy feat…

After so many seasons, there’s no shortage of Dragons Den success stories, past pitches and blog posts shared by Entrepreneurs about their experiences with the show. It’s amazing to be able to access all that content documenting the “formula” for slaying the Dragons.

From my own experience, I came up with a version of my own…

Formula for a Dragons Den Success Story =

   tell a great story
+ have a realistic valuation
+ be charismatic
+ have solid sales
+ know your numbers
+ show a catchy demo or sample or model (bonus points for kids!)
+ have a plan for the money
+ just know your shit
= Get on Dragons Den

I personally executed on the above formula and got Henkaa into the Dragons Den. Yes!

The good news is that there is sort of a “formula” that can work. The caveat is every business and every entrepreneur is different, so there really is no one-size-fits-all approach that will yield the same results across the board.

There’s so many reasons why they may pick or not pick you. We’ve all seen those episodes with crazy business ideas that honestly had no chance of getting a deal, but were put on for ratings and entertainment at the expense of the Entrepreneur.  Or how about all those underwear brands that model their products that make it on for the sex appeal? The reality is that it is a reality TV show and there are a lot of elements behind the curtain that are grey.

When you audition for Dragons Den, you essentially sign up for an opportunity — a huge opportunity at that! As a small business, there’s no way you could even think of affording the air time on national television!  And with all opportunities, being prepared, learning and making the most of it are key, especially since you don’t get to control the script. You don’t even find out if your pitch will make it on air until two weeks before the air date, and less than half of the pitches they record go on air. So whether you make it or not, your Dragons Den success story is what you make of it.

The bottom line is not just getting on to the show or even getting a deal (both of which would be awesome of course!), the ultimate goal is to position your business for success. So while cracking the formula and becoming a Dragons Den success story is cool, just remember that its only one part of the journey of figuring out your own business success formula.



Joanna Duong Chang
Joanna Duong Chang

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