During a crowdfunding round for investors last September, the BBC approached NGX to appear on Dragons’ Den to pitch the world’s first genetically personalised meal shake.
CEO Jeremy describes it as a ‘whirlwind experience’. Just 4 weeks stood between the BBC contacting NGX to appear on the Den and Jeremy’s appearance in front of the Dragons. An intense preparation of the pitch and props ensued.
The day before filming, Jeremy polished his pitch on the 4-hour journey from his home in Sussex to the BBC Dragons’ Den studio in Manchester.
The day of the pitch started with a 5am hotel wakeup and an NGX shake, in order to arrive at the Dragons Den warehouse in Salford by 6:30am. Jeremy was briefed that filming was planned for an 11am start.
After hair and makeup, Jeremy practiced the pitch yet again whilst waiting uninterrupted in his dressing room. 11 o’clock came around and he was raring and ready to pitch but unfortunately further patience was required.
1pm and 3pm also came and went.. An NGX shake was definitely in order to maintain his energy levels at this point.
At 4pm he was finally called to the Den to stand in front of the Dragons.
It’s perhaps a little cruel of the BBC to give another short time of waiting before instruction was given to enter the famous elevator!
The studio set-up (which was completely rearranged by the production staff after Jeremy set it out!)
Just as one sees on the screen, the Dragons were arrayed in front of Jeremy as he exited the lift.
Much to his relief, Jeremy delivered a smooth and confident pitch (the practicing on his 4-hour journey had paid off!).
After handing out a pack of BodyFuel powder with each Dragons name on, they appeared eager and excited about the product. Jeremy felt that the concept of NGX had successfully come across clearly and convincingly to the Dragons.
Those of us who haven’t been behind the scenes wouldn’t realise that the pitch is followed with a very long period of intense cross-questioning by the Dragons in turn. Jeremy’s comment afterwards was that ‘two hours is a long time to be grilled by five dragons!’
The first Dragon to declare himself out was Tej Lalvani. Jeremy had him in his sights as a key Dragon, but his rejection was understandable due to a possible conflict of interest.
Next up, Sara Davies and Deborah Meaden declared themselves out. They felt they couldn’t add any value to NGX based on their particular expertise. Jeremy commented afterwards that this was a very fair and understandable response.
Next up was Peter Jones. After previously throwing some tough curveballs to Jeremy (in the way he often does), he came up with some very positive comments - and an offer too.
Peter made a comment saying, ‘I believe in YOU and that YOU will make this happen’
A second offer then came through from Touker Suleyman.
Jeremy says ‘it was a really great moment - two hours of grilling had really paid off with those two offers!’
The Dragons were up for a bit of casual banter after the pitch and Jeremy mentions they were perhaps a bit less Dragon-like than they appear on TV.
On the run up to the episode airing on 6th May 2021, the BBC have described Jeremy as a ‘plucky entrepreneur’ in their episode preview. Let’s see how undaunted and unflinching he really is in the Den!