My name is Anne Walsh. I appeared on Season 7 of Ireland’s Dragons’ Den on RTE, pitching my Anaphylaxis Emergency Response (AER) Case. I run a company called AllergyLifestyle.com which sells accessories for people with allergies and asthma. The AER Case is our first own brand product, designed by us for anyone carrying medicines to manage serious allergies. Inspired by my own daughter who has an anaphylactic allergy to peanuts and eggs, it provides reassurance when your children are in someone else’s care. Pitching in front of the dragons was incredibly nerve-racking but I’m so glad I did it! I managed to secure €70,000 investment from Barry O’Sullivan and a partnership with Healthwave Pharmacy to provide the medicines for the case.
Here’s what I learnt from pitching in front of the Dragons, I hope it helps!
My top tips on pitching for investment
This is a huge opportunity for you and your business. You have worked hard to get to this stage. All of those late nights, 80 hour weeks and the rollercoaster that is running a business has led up to this moment. Having appeared on Dragons Den recently, I decided to put together some tips for budding entrepreneurs
1. Perfect your pitch
Record yourself to see how it comes across and practice, practice, practice in front of lots of other people
2. Know your figures
Decide on a realistic valuation for your company, how much equity you are prepared to give away and future projections for the business
3. Know your route to market, competitors, business strategy
Dragons can be ruthless when you haven’t done your research
4. Research the dragons
Search on LinkedIn, Google and watch previous episodes to see questions asked, investments made & equity secured
5. Be prepared to negotiate
But consider the value Dragons bring to the table outside of cash. Know how much equity you are willing to give away! Don’t forget you will be under pressure and on TV so have a figure in your mind that you will not go over.
6. People buy from people – Be yourself
Demonstrate commitment, passion and domain knowledge. Show that YOU are the expert in what you do.
7. Enjoy the experience!
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Remember how excited you were when you started your business in the first place. The Dragons are humans. Honestly, they are not as scary as they look on TV!
I hope you find these tips useful. Dragons’ Den is definitely worthwhile for any business. It increases awareness of your business and your product and if you get investment, it can take your business to the next level! Happy to say ‘As seen on Dragons’ Den’