The recent episode of BBC 2’s Dragons Den featured an optician and his business partner, a GP. The pair went on to the popular TV show in order to ask 5 wealthy investors for £50,000, in return for a percentage share in their business, which is a comparison website for laser eye surgery and other cosmetic surgery services.
The Dragons including Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden and Duncan Bannatyne were not impressed enough with the opticians website to part with their cash. Issues raised by the 5 dragons included the fact that Laser Eye Surgery is something much to delicate to base your decision on a comparison website and, probably more relevant, that the existing comparison websites out there would soon match and surpass this basically designed website if they thought that there was money to be made in this area.
So I guess it is a case of ‘don’t give up your day job just yet’ for this North East based optician and his GP friend. Maybe the way forward is to think outside of the ‘healthcare box’, as the previous optician who was successful on Dragons Den went on to promote his idea of a teddy bear with a built in mp4 media player in it’s tummy. This soft toy was aimed at children and the optician was able to add to his business portfolio of owning several opticians practices around the North West, following an investment of £70,000 each from Theo Paphitis and Peter Jones.
For more information on the previous Dragons Den success story go to http://www.imranhakim.co.uk/ or see the article on optician online, published back in 2007, when Imran appeared on the show, at http://www.opticianonline.net/Articles/2007/02/23/17863/Optometrist+triumphs+in+Dragon’s+Den.htm