Episode 1, “Money for Herbie”

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Feb 25, 2010 7 Comments ›› Gavin Duffy

Hi hope you enjoyed the first programme in series 2 of Dragons’ Den. On my blog here each Monday Morning and Thursday night I am going to give you my story on what you are seeing on the show.

Herbie Porshe

The best moment in the show tonight was when Herbie Porsche came out with that phrase “Money for Herbie”. Earlier today, Thursday the 25th, I had a celebratory lunch with Herbie Porsche (what a name) in his favourite restaurant, the Unicorn, off Merrion Row, in Dublin. Herbie used to be in the restaurant business years ago and is good friends with George one of the proprietors. Herbie had just seen the show at a press preview earlier in the Shelbourne. He later headed back to Donegal to watch the show live with family and friends.

Bad Boy Sauces

Ok onto the show. Jenny Lind Lee of Bad Boy Sauces was a superb presenter but I can’t believe she didn’t take my offer at the lower percentage equity. But her reason seemed a good one. She felt she was getting the expertise of two Dragons rather than one. Sounds like a good reason but my experience is that when two Dragons are involved the mentoring falls between the stools. However Niall and I have worked very well together with www.henparty.ie and Sean and I have also had good joint success with www.pedigreecattle.ie. But if you are in the Den and you have an offer from one Dragon versus two or more my advice is always go with one who will be focussed on you.

What to present

Next up was the Marilyn Air Drier. On the edited programme this one appeared to get a rough ride but in the Den it was given serious consideration by myself. I thought it was interesting. The mistake made was bringing in the clothes horse. Had Daniel Bradfield just come in with the device that blows ambient temperature air through the clothes I believe he would have got a better reception. It is always difficult to decide to use a concept prototype or a production prototype. The former is usually a lot rougher but I believe gives you more wriggle room when you are being questioned. You can always say,”Yes we are going to address that issue in the next prototype or in the production model.”

Don’t have information dragged out of you

If a pitch is featured on the programme it gets between eight to ten minutes. However the pitcher may have been in the den answering questions for an hour and a half. The lads who came to pitch www.greenflame.ie seemed to be holding something back. The Dragons had to drag it out of them after a guts of an hour that they had 35 shareholders. Had they come in and said, “we are a famers’ co-operative but we’d love to have a Dragon on board to assist our marketing and invest capital of €200k”, then I believe they may have done better.

Others that featured

Poor Gerard with his website for B.E.R. Cert’s got short shrift and actually that was no reflection on his presentation. He pitched it very well. It is simply down to the fact that none of the Dragons like this whole B.E.R. thing where we all have to go out and get cert’s for buildings. Business people hate this type of compliance for compliance sake.

Eezitfit Blinds the idea presented by Cathal McKinney at first very much grabbed Niall and Sean’s interest. I went back and checked my notes during the programme tonight and I see I was not sure there was robust enough patent protection on this product and I feared it could be easily copied so I passed on it as the rest of the Dragons did.

Urfavrit wasn’t Sarah’s favourite. When she doesn’t like something she tells you straight.
Finally we had Herbie.

Herbie Porche – www.toiletpipecover.com

All I can say is I was so right to invest in Herbie. I just thought it would be fun and he would be great gas. Well I have been working very closely with Herbie and his wife Maire, who is the real brains of the operation, and they are a delightful couple.

Listen out for Herbie on Ryan Tubridy tomorrow morning on RTE radio 1 at 9:05am. Check out the www.allaboutbusiness.ie website to get to see unseen footage from the Den.

On Monday, in my next update, I will tell you a few amazing stories about Herbie Porsche and how we are going to make MONEY FOR HERBIE.

Next update will be Monday – find out all about Money For Herbie!!


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  2. A says:

    Hi Gavin,

    Herbie was a character – people buy through people and you were right to support him! We have set up a Facebook fan page for him at:


    Would appreciate your support!


  3. Derek says:

    There is a lot of vultures trying to cash in the BER thing – You were right not to invest.

    Its the Poor BER assessors I feel sorry for , thousands of them spending big money on courses and not enough work to go around.


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  5. [...] Episode 1, Money for Herbie, Gavin refers to Herbie Porshe, Herbie Porche and Herbie Porsche all in the same [...]

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