The inaugural Dragon’s Den, hosted by the Salisbury Young Chamber, was filled with intrigue, humour and suspense.

The White Hart Hotel was at ‘101%’ capacity on Thursday, November 1, when local entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas in front of the ‘Dragons’, self-made Salisbury business experts.

If the Dragons could see themselves making money, they would invest in it.

The Young Chamber’s president, Daniel Rhind-Tutt, said the night couldn’t have been any better than planned.

“I was absolutely ecstatic,” he said.

“All of [the pitchers] had brilliant, unique ideas; some were established and some were start-ups.

“Some got investment, some didn’t, but that was the risk of it. The prediction of the unknown is what drove the evening and it was fantastic as a result.”

Two people came away with an investment, and offers were made to other pitchers that were not accepted, but they gained the publicity.

“Ultimately, for the ones who got investment, it’s fantastic because there is a legacy that can be created to move things forward,” Daniel said.

“For those who didn’t, they got an opportunity to put themselves in front of an audience who may be their prospective customer base.

“The general feel of everybody involved is that of delight: everyone appears to be buzzing as a result of it.”

The successful first event, one to test and evaluate reactions, has set a solid precedent the Young Chamber could build on.

As a result, there will potentially be more similar opportunities for Salisbury’s young entrepreneurs next year.

“Huge amounts of work went into it and now we’ve got a template moving forward,” Daniel added.

“My thanks go to Rebecca Hudson, Graeme Stevens, Sarah Fletcher, Sam Salter-Galbraith, Fras Guedes, and Alex Taylor.

“This is the format I’d love to take the young chamber into, the opportunity to act as an investment forum, an investment ability.”

Pitchers and Dragons enjoyed the evening.

Pitchers were:

Keta Hunt – Boozy Bakes

Arash Bazrafshan – Musikind

Charlie Henry – Popscards

Nikki Emerton and Laura Dumbleton-Jones – Happy Confident Kids

Chris Garrett – Jumparoo

One pitcher did not wish to be identified for patenting reasons.

Presenter Alex Taylor on stage.

Dragons were:

Simon Allenby – Clifford Fry and Co chartered accountants

Gavin Barrett –  Barrakav Properties

Molly Fisher – Landford Stone

Robin Trevett – Trevett Group

Hugh Mullens – in the capacity of angel investor

Feature image: Daniel Rhind-Trutt of Salisbury Young Chamber (left), Charlie Henry of Popscards, Gavin Barrett of Barrakav Properties.

Photos by Rowan Fulton.

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