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Very PC MD responds to Dragon’s Den mauling

by Scott Bicheno on 5 August 2008, 14:27

Tags: Very PC

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Didn't go too well

Nobody can claim to not know what they’re letting themselves in for when they appear on BBC2’s venture capitalist programme Dragon’s Den.

In the programme, entrepreneurs present their business plans to five potential investors, or “Dragons”, and are then subjected to a grilling at the end of which one or all of the Dragons can choose to invest in the idea or not bother.

In last night’s episode Peter Hopton (pictured below), the managing director of green PC maker Very PC, presented his business case to the Dragons. He wanted £250,000 in exchange for 5 percent of the business, thus valuing it at £5 million.

His bit commences at 31:45 into the episode and to say it didn’t go too well would be a major understatement. Comments from the Dragons included: “I’ve never heard such rubbish in my life,” “you’ve insulted my intelligence to the level which I’m seething with rage,” and “you must be very disappointed in your own personal performance.”

"You’ve insulted my intelligence to the level which I’m seething with rage"

None of the Dragons were interested in investing and, initially at least, the whole thing looked entirely negative for Hopton and Very PC. But there’s always two sides to the story so we rang Hopton this morning to find out his perspective.

We started by asking if he has any regrets about appearing on the show. “Not at all,” said Hopton. “This morning I had 40 emails praising Very PC. I felt some of the comments were unnecessary and some were outright rude. Yesterday I and our entire staff of 20 went to the pub to watch the episode and we just had a good time.”

There certainly was some uncompromising stuff said to him but, presumably, the Dragons felt it was justified. We asked him if he thought his own performance was at fault. “On the day I felt I won a lot of arguments and, although I didn’t get the money, I thought it went OK,” said Hopton. He went on to stress that what he saw on TV and what he experienced firsthand were very different.