Entrepreneurs not resting on laurels
Young tycoons prosper after Dragon’s pillow talk
New Dragon Touker Suleyman’s offer inadvertently contravened the rules of the programme so his promised investment could not go ahead.
Speaking the day after the BBC show aired, Glasgow-based Trtl (pronounced “turtle”) commercial director Michael Corrigan said: “We were completely gutted at the time and would have benefited from the sales doors Touker would have opened.
“But we don’t regret it for a minute. The interest since the show aired last night has been phenomenal. The phone’s been going off the hook and our website’s lit up like a Christmas tree. Thanks Dragons’ Den!”
The two co-founders – Michael Corrigan and David Kellock (both 28) – invented their Trtl Pillow in October 2013 after meeting while studying engineering at Glasgow’s Strathclyde University.
They were seeking £65,000 investment from the Dragons for a 10% stake.
Suleyman offered all the money as a convertible loan in exchange for 30% equity. Once the duo had paid off the loan, the clothing tycoon would have dropped his share to 10%.
The rules of the Den are that any offers from Dragons must be straight cash for equity. So the pair were unable to accept his money.
Mr Corrigan said: “Appearing on the Den was the most intense experience of our lives and the interest from the Dragons confirmed to us that we were really on to something. In fact it’s only since Dragons’ Den was filmed that the Trtl Pillow has taken off.”
Since their appearance, the two entrepreneurs have made the Trtl Pillow available to buy from Amazon in the US, UK, Germany, Spain, and France.
The duo have also signed a deal with the Excess Baggage Co which has seen their product on sale in Heathrow, Gatwick, Madrid and Barcelona airports.
Next month the Glasgow-based the pillow will be available in a major UK retailer’s stores throughout Britain, while the firm has just signed deals with US and Australian retailers.
Mr Corrigan added: “We want to make our best buy travel pillow the Dyson of the travel industry. There’s nothing worse than being on a 10-hour flight and all you want to do is sleep. Our product gives people the rest they need to enjoy their adventures however they wish.”