Britain’s finest business brains will be back on our screens shortly as Dragons’ Den is due to return.
The show sees entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas in front of five hugely wealthy investors, who then choose to part with their money in return for a stake in the company.
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Now in its 17th series, the Dragons have helped fund a series of successful ventures, including Wonderland magazine, price comparison site Look After My Bills, and Levi Root’s infamous Reggae Reggae Sauce.
So what can we expect from the new series? Here’s everything you need to know…
When is Dragons’ Den series 17 on TV?
We don’t have a start date for Dragons’ Den yet, but the show is confirmed to return at some point in the summer on BBC2.
If it follows the pattern of the previous two series, it is likely to be on screens around the second weekend in August.
Who are the Dragons?
Replacing Jenny Campbell for series 17, Sara Davies is the youngest ever Dragon at 35-years-old. Davies made a name for herself in business after founding Crafter’s Companion, a retail business specialising in craft, while at university. The business now turns over £34 million a year.
“I’m absolutely delighted to join the other Dragons for the new series of the show,” she said. “I’ve always been very passionate about investing time in and sharing my expertise with other entrepreneurs and hopefully I’ll be able to help some of the contestants to really take their businesses to the next level.
“I’ve been a fan of the show since it started, I was even invited to pitch on the show 13 years ago so it feels like I’ve come a full circle. It wasn’t all that long ago when I was in the position of the contestants so I really feel like I will be able to relate to their stories and their journeys so far. I understand the highs and lows of building a global business from the ground and taking that initial product idea all the way to market.
“I’m looking forward to getting started and hopefully being introduced to some businesses that I can really get excited about.”
The show’s last remaining original Dragon, Peter Jones started to amass his estimated £475 million fortune aged just 16 when he founded his own tennis academy and set up a computer business.
Having joined the show in series three, Deborah Meaden generated her personal fortune of £30 million by turning around her family business. She now has interests in 19 different businesses and took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2013.
Fashion retail entrepreneur Touker Suleyman joined the Dragons for series 13 in 2015. Owning UK shirt maker Hawes & Curtis and UK fashion brand Ghost, Suleyman’s wealth is thought to be in excess of £150 million
One of the newer Dragons in the den having joined in series 15, Tej Lalvani is considered a kinder investor than some of his colleagues. As the CEO of Vitabiotics, Lalvani has turned his family business into a company worth around £300 million
Where is Dragons’ Den filmed?
Having previously been filmed in Stoke Newington, Whitechapel and Pinewood Studios, the show has been shot at MediaCityUK in Salford Quays since 2010.
How does Dragons’ Den work?
Hosted by Evan Davis, entrepreneurs approach the Dragons seeking investment in a business idea, or to ask for an investment in an already operating business they want to develop, in exchange for equity in the business.
In their pitch, contestants have to specify the exact amount of money they wish to receive from the Dragons.
Dragons can offer some or all of the amount the contestant requires, with the budding entrepreneur free to haggle with the Dragons on the amount of equity they’re willing to give away.
Should a Dragon hear a pitch and not be interested in the business proposition, they must declare they are “out” of negotiations.
Dragons’ Den returns to BBC2 in the summer