Dragons’ Den product described as “ridiculous” has gone on to sell millions

Virgin Radio

9 Feb 2022, 09:15

Credit: Getty / magicwhiteboard.com

Credit: Getty / magicwhiteboard.com

If you have a good business idea and decide to take it to Dragon’s Den, it could be the making of you, or you might end up being sent away with your tail between your legs. For two entrepreneurs, it seemed like the latter was set to happen, but they ended up with a hugely successful product. 

Married couple Neil and Laura Westwood appeared on the hit BBC show all the way back in 2008, hoping that their pitch for the Magic Whiteboard would be given the thumbs-up by the Dragons. 

But what is a Magic Whiteboard? Well, it is a roll of A1 whiteboard sheets which use static to stick to anything. The couple were aiming to secure £100,000 for a 15 percent equity stake in their business.

It’s safe to say, however, that their idea didn’t go down at all well with one of the Dragons.

Peter Jones was not impressed, saying to the couple: “Laura, Neil, my first look at this - this is almost ridiculous. Why would I use this?"

Neil responded: “If you’re a trainer, if you do any group work…”

But Peter came back: “Well, I have a whiteboard.”

Neil attempted to persuade the Dragon, saying: “But if you’re a consultant, for example, doing any training…”

Peter though, remained unmoved, saying: “What, I’m going to go and carry that around in my briefcase? So you’ll put that on the wall and write notes on it… it just feels ridiculous.”

The unimpressed Dragon then took the whiteboard pen and wrote “I’M OUT” on the Magic Whiteboard!

However, while Peter Jones was not at all interested in investing, Dragons Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden felt the opposite, offering half of the money each. They did so for a 20 percent stake in the business. James Caan and Duncan Bannatyne also offered to invest as well.

Credit: Getty / Amazon

Credit: Getty / Amazon

The Magic Whiteboard went on to sell more than one million products by 2016, and has become an office staple. More products have also been rolled out in recent years, such as reusable notebooks and a Magic Blackout Blind.

Proof indeed that sometimes the Dragons get it wrong!