NGX on Dragons' Den - Behind the Scenes
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 of course 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 there was a delay as previous contestants had not yet finished.
Then 1pm and 3pm came and went. Another 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. He was made to wait for 5 agonising minutes in front of the famous elevator before the doors slid open and he walked in.
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 likely conflict of interest with his vitamin company.
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 fair response as they had little overlapping experience in the sector.
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 then came the offer.
After all the attempts to trip Jeremy up, Peter delivered a power statement: ‘you're clearly intelligent and I believe in YOU and that YOU will make this happen’.
The pressure immediately lifted. And suddenly Touker also wanted a piece of the action, throwing in his London based office space as a deal sweetener.
Jeremy says ‘it was a really proud moment - two hours of grilling had really paid off with those two offers coming in.’
After the Pitch
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!