Episode 4 of Dragons’ Den Nigeria saw the dragons emphasizing on creativity, personality, and the role they play in enhancing the viability of a business idea.
Thomas Okoye was the first entrepreneur to face the dragons. A young farmer from Benin City, he came in search of a 3 million naira investment in exchange for 60% equity in his farm business. He was hoping to develop his animal farm to include the production of organic manure, catfish farming, etc. He told the dragons that he had been in the business for about 4-5 years already, and had made a turnover of 1.8 million naira, and 2.2 million naira in the first and second years of operation respectively. Further explaining that in the first year, he made a profit of about 800, 000 naira and in the second, he made a profit of 900, 000 naira after a little plough-back. The business belonged to his mother though!
Well, the dragons did not invest here on the grounds that he did not own the business, they did not have enough confidence in it and that Thomas did not exude enough confidence to attract a deal.
The second entrepreneur, Bello Bisama was in the den hoping to secure a 7 million naira investment for a special-interest magazine "Fone Book", which according to him would be a phone review magazine that will give Nigerians information about cell phones, phone accessories, product specifications, phone software, etc. He was offering 20% equity to the dragons.
Amosu, Parkes and Tejuosho’s observations revealed the weakness inherent in Bello’s business idea and the fact that he was expecting to generate 80% of his revenue from sales of the magazine, and 20% from advertising, which should have been the reverse; sealed his fate. Of course, the dragons opted out.
Michaels Nwogbo, the third entrepreneur came in search of a 7 million naira investment in his company, North Pacific Limited, to enable him advance his business of palm fruit processing in exchange for 25% equity.
Awosika struck first and then came Parkes’ blow, which revealed his business’ lack of structure. The dragons all opted out and Nwogbo got no deal.
The fourth entrepreneur, Sanusi Adekunle, needed 7.5 million naira to start-up a sophisticated taxi operation he called Metro-Cabs, a cab company that will provide comfortable and convenient cabs for its clients. He described his unique selling points as his company’s intent to service customers with an organized price structure, eliminating unnecessary haggling with the taxi drivers, call-ups and pick-ups from airports, hotels, offices, homes; offering the dragons, 65% equity.
He however, lost out based on the speculative nature of his business, his incompetent presentation of figures and his lack of experience in the transport sector.
The fifth entrepreneur approached the dragons soliciting for 15 million naira to invest in an idea he had tagged "Creative Legend Academy of Design" where he would charge students an average of about 190, 000 naira to teach them graphics design, and multimedia.
They discovered that he had no accreditation from the government, or affiliation with any professional body relevant to the courses he wanted to teach and he was not going to be able to issue the students any certificate after graduation.
The dragons thought the idea quite absurd and sent him off without any investment.
The sixth entrepreneur presented the idea for his product EIPMS- Electronic Intelligent Power Management System, and the dragons seemed impressed, but when he was asked to present the prototype, he revealed to the dragons that the research was yet to begin. He had come to the den to get funding from the dragons to research this idea, and afterwards look for other investors who will invest in the product after the research had been done.
He was encouraged to seek organizations that give out research grants and not businesspersons who were looking to make an investment and make profit. Obviously, he had come to the wrong place!
Ms. Odewinge, the last entrepreneur in this episode, came into the den exuding confidence before the dragons. She asked for 3 million naira for 10% equity, to invest in a business she called "Start-Up City"- one that would guide and mentor start-up businesses and start-up professionals through the challenges of starting a business.
She presented impressive statistics on the number of start-up businesses that fail within their first year of operation; statistics that Awosika noted were almost accurate but could not see any business sense in the whole initiative.
Amosu, Awosika, and Tejuoso opted out but this did not deter Odewinge whose persuasive power was able to pull investment from the duo of John Momoh and Chris Parkes who invested 1 million naira for 10% equity, and 2 million naira for 20% equity respectively.
The dragons had a deal at last!