How was my time in the den?
Ed midway though his pitch

Going on Dragons Den is a once in a lifetime experience and I enjoyed every second of the day, even if I had walked out with nothing.

Getting an investment from a dragon was a dream come true, working with Jenny Campbell is fantastic and I can’t wait for what the future will hold.

This blog is a reflection of the day I spent in the studio being filmed, I hope you enjoy an insight into the process.

  • Early Start.

The day starts early, you have to be at the studio at 6:15 am. You set up your props, in my case five concept trucks, and five kept below to hand out to the dragons. The production team working on set that early are fantastic, they constantly gave ideas to improve how you presented yourself and your business. The road you see was constructed by the team and that’s the first time I see it!

The production team really do put you at ease, they help you practice your pitch and go the extra mile to give you the best chance.

I don’t really want to go into the ins and out of the day as I’m sure it changes season to season and I want to leave some mystery, in case you want to apply- if you’re thinking about it, just do it!

You don’t meet the dragons before, the first time you see them is when you walk out of the lift doors and deliver your pitch. This is strictly enforced and you have a guide whenever you are moving outside the designated room. I remember walking down a corridor and having to duck into a production room because one of the dragons was coming around the corner.

  • Go Time

You don’t know when you’ll be called into the den either, which I think really helps with your nerves. You can’t panic because 10 am is coming up quick.

The nerves didn’t hit me properly until the light went green and I went to wait for the lift. But I focused on my pitch and once I delivered it relaxed I mean whats the worst they can do.

You see 20 minutes on the TV, but I was in the den for nearly 2 hours. I don’t know how they condense that down, how they choose what to include and what they don’t include.

All the dragons were fantastic, all their advice has been used since filming. In hindsight, I think they were really tame, no fire-breathing directed my way! Perhaps that’s my age helping me.

I got an investment, which I was so pleased about, you couldn’t wipe that smile of me for weeks. Once those lift doors close behind you you’re taken for a debrief,  that’s what is shown after your time in the den.

  • After you leave 

From there, you’re lead into a dressing room, by yourself but I’m sure if you go in with people they’ll join you. You waiting for the next break in filming so you can meet your dragon or dragons.

You don’t know what happens to the other entrepreneurs, simply because they want to keep it a secret. But since some of those who were filmed on the same day have become firm contacts and I hope friends in due course. They are all so lovely and supportive.

My initial meeting with Jenny was fantastic, Tej and Touker took the time to come out and show their support. What more motivation do you need by three dragons giving you a pat on the back.

  • Post Recording

The Dragons Den team keep you as well informed as they can, and they want to be kept informed too. How’s working with a dragon etc! They are extremely supportive and following my appearance wanted to know what I thought.

Thank you to all the crew, the dragons (especially Jenny!) and those that kept my secret for so long.

Good luck to all entrepreneurs past and present and if you’re thinking of heading in. Hope this helped and feel free to reach out!

All the best

Ed Hollands

Ed Hollands stand in front of a white truck cab.