Dragons fight back tears after powerful pitch | Dragons’ Den

Like anything in life anything worth
having never came easy, so I’m expecting
to be grilled.
Hopefully at the end of it we’ll be
walking away with a dragon and some
Hello dragons, my name is Craig Hale and
I’m the owner of landscapes for learning
limited. I’m here today to ask for your
investment of 50,000 pounds in return
for a 15% share of my company. Landscapes for learning design, manufacture and source
outdoor educational resources and
consult with primary schools with
regards to develop an outdoor learning
spaces. We’re increasingly living in a society
where children spend a large proportion
of their time staring at a screen. My
goal as a former teacher and father of
three is to get children outside
exploring the world around them and
experience life firsthand whilst
facilitating learning through play. We’ve
been working hard to develop a product
range often in collaboration with
teachers, that have educational benefits.
Starting with our very first mud kitchen
just 17 months ago, we now offer over 90
different learning resources and were
continuously developing new and exciting
pieces of equipment to add to our
product range. I believe that together we
can grow landscapes for learning to
become a sound investment in our
children’s future development. Thank you
for listening to me you’re welcome to
come up and have a play on the sea saw or build a sandcastle and I look forward
to any questions you might have.
It’s a slick pitch from Craig Hill who’s
offering 15% of his business that
produces outdoor educational playsets in
exchange for 50,000 pounds.
This is the first – never seen dragons so
interested. To chalk up success in
the den Craig will have to face the
toughest test of all, interrogation by the dragons.
Now playtime’s over I’ll get on with some
questions. First up Deborah Medan.
Right, hi Craig. Hello. So just so I’m
clear is it you you or is it you and
people in a workshop. We spent the first
12 months working out of a garage at
the end of my garden. That’s me on my own.
It’s me and one other now and we build
from scratch say 95% of the products
we sell. I offer to a certain degree a
bespoke service to schools. Can you tell
me what your average order value is per
school? Yeah absolutely we tend to get
orders between 2,000 and 5,000 pounds. So
what’s the process you contact the
schools. No I haven’t
contacted any schools.
You haven’t contacted any schools? All the
schools have contacted me through
recommendations or referrals.
That’s pretty impressive –
and what’s the success rate per visit? By the
time I’m in the school they’ve spent the
money with me.
The notion that Craig’s products sell
themselves has got all of the Dragons
attention but Deborah Medan wants to
know if that means business really is
booming. Craig when did your year end? Tomorrow. Oh great
time to ask you what your turnover is
for the year then. Since 2017 we’ve
turned over 185,000 which is operating
around a 49% gross profit margin. Okay
I’m presuming you haven’t taken a salary
out of this. Yes I do
it’s a thousand pound a month. Are you
taking dividends out. Yes I left teaching
after a period of depression, I couldn’t
continue in there so as mines the only
source of income
we acquired quite a lot of debt. So I
spent the last 12 months basically
paying off my debt by taking dividends
and I’m making sure that I get rid of my personal debt, that was a priority
for me yes. Just talk to me about you,
what happened? Yeah okay so um I mean I
grew up on what was the largest council
estate in Europe at the time. I qualified
as an art teacher and then I worked in
special educational needs and
my daughter had an accident
where – sorry she fell into a fire. She
sort of ran at me on flames I had to put
her out and both my hands caught fire. So
It just ruined me I couldn’t cope with it.
So it was – it was about either carrying
on and being useless at the job or
making the decision to be with my family
and I made the second decision. I can’t
imagine what that felt like. It’s pretty tough.
Sorry guys. You don’t need to apologize. She’s in good shape now you know she bounced back.
She takes pride in her scars you know.
There’s a real touch of the
educational piece here and I can see
with your background why you’ve – why
you’re doing what you’re doing. Where
could you go in terms of scaling this?
What’s your dream? Where I’d like to be
is the go-to company – that right we need
outdoor educational resources who do we
go to? Landscapes for learning.
It should roll off the tongue.
Kraig’s turned a catastrophic event into
the driving force behind his business
and it looks like his ambitious plans
for the future have gone down well with
Touka Suleiman. I want to congratulate
you for reinventing yourself.
You are a great
salesman and in a way you be in the
carpenter and building it is a waste.
What concerns me is how could a
dragon help you. You can do it on your
own. I wish I wish – like for you
that’s your bread and butter, for me to
take it from a company is quite Kraig
centric to become in a company where
there’s there’s reps and there’s
national distribution network. If you had
two extra carpenters and you could go
out on the sell, what would you turn ever
be? I think I could probably get a four
hundred thousand next year with a net of
maybe 180.
Craig you said you’re looking for a
dragon to understand the potential of
the business but the numbers itself
shows you the potential of the business.
The schools are coming to you so really
it’s about your time being put more
effectively and just getting the
manufacturing sorted out.
I’d love help with that. Why don’t you build
up to a million pound business and then
try and look for investment. I’ve never built up a million pound business. Well I mean you’re on
the way to doing it right, I mean I think
in about three years
you could be there. I don’t know if I’ve
made this sound easier then it is. You’ve proved
the model. A lot of times businesses come
into the den to have to prove a business
model that actually works. What I would
say is that I think what I’m looking for
is somebody to recognize this potential
and just point me in the right direction.
Craig I’ll tell you where I’m at I
actually don’t think you need a dragon
but you know I feel like I want to help
you. You’re doing a really good thing here.
so I’m just gonna give you an offer out
there. I’m willing to share the fifty
thousand in any proportion with other
dragons but for 25 percent okay.
A bid from tazed Levani who’s looking
for a joint investment at 25% equity
rather than the 15 originally on offer.
To seal a deal Craig will need at least
one other dragon to come on board, is
anybody willing to play ball? Okay I’ll
do the other half I can’t let this pass
for your future. Legend.
Between touka Suleyman and Tazz Levani
Craig now has a full offer of 50,000
pounds. All beard for 10% more equity
than he was willing to give away. Will
Deborah Medan want to join the party or
make a rival bid. I’m gonna tell you
where I am. You present really well and
you are inspirational to pick yourself
up and to do this is blinken inspiring
and I tell you what that also tells me
that my goodness you’re resilient. You
would do whatever it takes to get a
business going –
but when I sit in this chair I’m a
dragon and I think it’s a good business
but I don’t think it’s going to be a
huge business I won’t be investing so I
wish you all the best but I’m out.
Thank You. Craig.
My worry would be if we all went in then
you’d probably go yes I’ll have all of
you and then that would be a disaster
because you probably wouldn’t get the
right focus and it wouldn’t be the right
thing at all.
So with respect and with all my best
wishes I’m out. Deborah Medan and Jenny
Campbell bow out of the deal leaving
just one more dragon to declare his hand.
Is Peter Jones in or out? Craig the
products that you’ve created I think are
great. I mean a mud kitchen I think is
brilliant, a chalkboard to create an
outdoor table it’s clever. I’m sitting
here trying to debate. You have an offer
and how much do I really believe in the
business that actually the money that I
invest not only am I going to get that
back because I’m an investor at the end
of the day, but also how much of me and
my time and that actually will help you
drive and make a different business.
I’ve made my decision now and I’m going
to say to you that I’m gonna make you an
And I’m gonna offer you all of the money
but I want 30% of the business.
Okay thank you. Do you want to go think
about it.
Ah yes okay. Cheers.
Peter Jones muddies the waters by asking
for 5% more than Tej Lalvani and touka
Suleiman’s joint offer of 25%. The
expertise of two dragons or the wisdom
of just one. It’s a tough choice for
I really appreciate everybody’s offers.
It’s a big decision to make it is a
life-changing thing.
I think it might be worth the 30% Peter
so if it’s okay I’d like to accept your
Wow, look, thank you.
Thanks very much. Yes thank you. Craig
ops to give away more equity to successfully
secure a deal with his dragon of choice.
I’m so pleased he walked out of here
with the deal. Do you know what? Sometimes
you have to hit rock bottom to know – he’s
more than an entrepreneur in waiting.
He’s gonna make it. I’m dead chuffed. I
was overwhelmed with their belief in
what we could achieve. Capitalism with a
heart isn’t a bad thing.

About Nicklaus Predovic

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