Dragons Den: James Nash explains Cup-a-wine
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In 2009, the founder of Wine Innovations and packaging expert James Nash’s idea of plastic cups filled with a single serving of wine and sealed with a foil lid was rejected by the Dragons. James was looking for a £250,000 investment for a 25 percent stake in his business.
The Dragons said the idea was “tacky” and required him to rethink his idea to make it a success.
Despite being rejected, his invention was later picked up by Marks and Spencer, which used it for its award-winning Le Froglet wine.
M&S said the product has been proved popular with train commuters and picnic goers.
Each goblet costs him 38p and he sells it to wine brand owners for 52p to distribute.
The Dragons’ Den cast may be some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, but they don’t always get it right.
Despite not getting any investments, so many products go on to make millions and become very successful.
During Mr Nash’s pitch, the Dragons’ were concerned about copycat rivals stealing sales away and were not convinced by the soundness of his patent application.
Duncan Bannatyne asked: “You didn’t invent the plastic glass. And you didn’t make the wine. So what have you got?”
Theo Paphitis was discouraged to invest as there was no guarantee on his return. He thought the risk was too high as he would be investing £250,000.
He said: “For me to invest and not know what could come out of the woodworks, and I don’t have a business and my money is lost, it’s not a risk I’m prepared to take so I’m out.”
They launched Le Froglet wine nationwide to general acclaim and the business is now worth millions.
After leaving the Den, James got a cash injection from a private investor at the rate he wanted.
Peter Jones said he thought James was asking “for a ridiculous amount of money” on the show.
He said: “I think you should have come in here saying, ‘I’m unsure with what I’ve got. I’ve got a verbal arrangement but hey it’s a punt, but if it works it could be good for you.’
“I would have invested in that but you’ve placed yourself out the market. £250,000 is ridiculous so I’m out.”
In a video posted to the Dragons’ Den YouTube channel, Mr Nash said the business was expected to make three million to four million units, which gave him a gross turnover of £1.8million.
Despite not leaving with any investment, many entrepreneurs have gone on to do great things with their products.
For example, Tangle Teezer, a hairbrush company, is now worth £200million.
Owner Shaun Pulfrey’s rejection has also been one of the biggest success stories in the show’s history.
Episodes of Dragons’ Den are available on BBC iPlayer.
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