A COUPLE who invented a bed extension for tall people have come away empty-handed from TV’s Dragons’ Den – despite entrepreneur Peter Jones calling their device “genius”.
Ringwood couple Martin and Kris Andrew were seeking £80,000 from the investors on the BBC show to expand their business Bedstretch, which sells the PillowShelf.
Dragon Peter Jones, who is 6ft 7ins tall, tried the PillowShelf on the program and told the couple: “Genuinely, I can’t believe it.”
He said: “This is something I’ve been looking for every time I come up to film Dragons. We’re put into this hotel, we’re in a nice hotel at the moment, but the bed, it’s like a hobbit’s bed, it’s really small, and at the moment it looks a bit weird but I sleep diagonally.”
He said the key market for the product would be hotels.
“You could even argue every hotel should at least have a few,” he said.
The dragons heard the business had been trading for three years and was selling around 120 of the PillowShelf a year.
The inventors told the dragons there are more than five million people over 6ft tall and that they were too tall for a standard 6ft 3ins bed.
Despite his enthusiasm, Mr Jones passed on the opportunity to invest £80,000 in return for a 20 per cent stake in the business.
“I think it’s genius, obviously,” he said.
But he said the business needed a traditional “go to market” strategy with someone employed full-time to run it and to “walk into the hotels” to sell the product.
“But that’s going to cost you more than £80,000. I would need to own so much of your business that I’m not going to make you an offer,” he added.
He added: “Please do exactly as I suggested and try and get into those hotels but I’m not going to invest.”
Kris Andrew said after the broadcast: “Even though we didn’t secure the investment, going into the den and meeting the dragons was still an incredible experience, and for the dragons to also be so enthusiastic was incredibly encouraging. Especially about the PillowShelf’s potential to break through into the hospitality industry. This has certainly put a fire in our bellies.”