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Dragons Den Ideas Review – Series 1 Episode 8 – Summary and Analysis of Entrepreneur 1

Last night saw the first episode of the new 2010 series. The lineup was the same and it was quite an interesting show. Here is my Dragons Den ideas review – summary and analysis: a catch up on the main points and my thoughts on what happened for the first entrepreneur, Derek Cozens.

Entrepreneur 1 – Derek Cousins (Flow Signals)

The first entrepreneur showed off a light system for attaching to existing road signs. He claimed that they can help increase safety in various situations. He wanted £50,000 for 10%.

The pitch seemed quite confident but the Dragons look bored and then started to chuckle and think it was some kind of joke. They seemed to think it was not a viable invention.

Peter Jones ridiculed the concept and it turned out the guy had invested £25,000 already invested in it. Deborah Meaden dug deep and found out that the idea was actually disliked by someone presumably high up in the industry (I didn’t 100% fully understand this part). Theo and Duncan were not convinced by the patent or even the business model. The inventor was adamant that it could work though.

In fact, Cozens didn’t seem to be able to back up his belief with any concrete evidence that there was any potential in the project.

Another nail in the coffin was that Cozens could not even identify anyone else as having any faith in his product. Deborah declared herself out at this point. Theo followed shortly after.

Duncan slaughtered him by declaring Cozens the winner of the “worst invention ever to be brought on Dragons Den” and then declared himself out!

Finally, he was shooed out of the Den. All in all, the smug Dragons were pretty rude but it’s hardly the first time they have been!

My Verdict

I agree with the Dragons. This device could one day have some merit. I can imagine a time when an intelligent lighting system could enhance the current system of signs and increase safety. However, Cozens has nothing more than a pipe dream and, worse than this, he does not appear to take any criticism on board. He has no support for his idea, it is not clear if he has a patent, and yet he was still trying to convince the Dragons. He has spent far too much money on this project and ended up nowhere. He needs to ditch it now and look into other things. One day, an intelligent traffic lighting system might work but it won’t be him who will invent it, in my opinion.


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