TWO brothers who failed to secure funding for their invention on hit BBC show Dragons’ Den claim it’s the best thing that could have happened to their business.
Sid and Tony Heath, from Parr, pitched for a £50,000 investment from resident “Dragons” Theo Paphitis, Peter Jones, Duncan Bannatyne, Deborah Meaden and Hilary Devey for their Shower Friend invention on Sunday night’s show.
But, despite leaving the Den empty handed, Sid, 60, says he’s now glad none of the multi-millionaire entrepreneurs got a slice of the cake.
The Shower Friend is a device which enables people using push-button showers to enjoy a continuous stream of water instead of having to press the button for more water every few seconds.
Sid said: “Now that we’re making such a success of our idea we’re over the moon that the Dragons didn’t back it.
“We didn’t really go on there for the money anyway. The exposure you get by appearing on TV in front of nine million people is something money can’t buy. Initially, we only wanted to ask for £10 – really we just wanted their business expertise - but the producers persuaded us to pitch for £50,000. The pitch went really well and the Dragons all liked the product, they just felt that the target market wasn’t big enough for them to get a return on their investment.”
In a Dragons’ Den first, Sid and Tony, 47, who owns the Cherry Tree pub, brought a full-size shower into the studio to help show how the Shower Friend works.
Despite a mixed reception from Duncan Bannatyne and Hilary Devey, Peter Jones described the gadget as “ingenious”.
Sid added: “The idea for the Shower Friend came on the back of years of frustration while using the showers at swimming baths and campsites. They’re already proving popular with lorry drivers at truck stops and we can see them being used at music festivals too. They are so simple to use and actually help to save water.”