Episode 3 got off to a kicking start with entrepreneur and ex-football player Gary Neville joining the Den, the first ever Guest Dragon. While some entrepreneurs were top of the leader board, others just failed to make the cut.
[We reported here on the intellectual property of a business called Acu Seeds. We have removed our coverage of the pitch after the episode was withdrawn from viewing by the BBC, who are reviewing the content.]
The next entrepreneur to enter the Den had the Dragons in fits of laughter throughout the entirety of his pitch. Liam Browne, founder of Full Power Cacao, explained that he came up with the idea for his business after a long fight with his mental health sent him on a “journey to find happiness”. On this expedition he stumbled across a ‘Chocolate Shamen’ in Guatemala “and the trajectory of his life was changed forever.”
Liam asked the Den for a £50,000 investment in return for 5% equity in his enterprise.
The Power of IP
Full Power Cacao sources its cacao from Venezuela where family farmers plant, grow, pick and process the seed. “They are all part of the ‘PLAN MÁS CACAO’. It is wise for Liam to think about protecting his IP such as his trade mark when trading abroad.
Registering your trade mark, design or patent in the UK doesn’t automatically give you protection overseas. Fortunately, there is lots of help available. The IPO has an international network of attaches based in Southeast Asia, China, Latin America, North America, Gulf States and India who are there to help provide advice on local IP matters to businesses trading in those regions. We also have country guides to help you protect your IP abroad.
Back in the Den, the Dragons get involved in a little song and get a chance to try Liam’s cacao drink. They get ready to decide whether they have the ‘Full Power’ to invest in Liam’s journey.
Peter, Touker, Steven and Sara all make offers, but Gary has an important question to ask before he can make his decision...
“What football team do you support?” Unfortunately for Gary, Liam supports Manchester City but is still keen to make him an offer.
Well look Liam you support the wrong football team, but I think I can get over that you are incredible, you actually make me a little emotional, you are an incredible ambassador for your brand but more importantly for me an incredible ambassador for the city that we’re in,” gushed Gary. “I love my city; I love investing in people and businesses around this city. So, I can’t not give you money, I can’t not make you an offer, but I will let you come back to me if you feel like you want me to be involved.
Without even needing to ‘visit the wall’ Liam asks if Dragons Gary, Peter and Steven will consider going in together to invest in his business.
All three agree to the full £50,000 asked for with Gary taking a 5% cut of the business and the other two Dragons both taking 10%.
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The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has an arrangement in place with the BBC to publish the Dragons’ Den IP Blog after each BBC Dragons’ Den episode. The purpose of the blog is to help identify the IP in entrepreneurs’ pitches and highlight how IP works, or could work, in the real-life examples featured. IPO’s authorship of this blog does not constitute its endorsement or sponsorship of any products, individuals or businesses referenced within it.