Dragons’ Den Season 2 episode 8 review

(Cross posted at Kempton with possible additional readers’ comments)

The following are my brief reviews and comments of the Dragons’ Den Season 2 episode 8 business ideas and pitches.


House keeping comments:

I quite enjoy the “where are they now” updates of the entrepreneurs in this episode. I think it mixed very well with the pitches. In particular, it warmed my heart to see the Anivac entrepreneurs/husband and wife team making some progress in their businesses and getting into pets care.

By the way, I found many comments in the Dragons’ Den forum actually quite insulting to the entrepreneurs and to other commentators. I think the $5,000 (?) prize for people who vote and the $50,000 prize for the entrepreneur who gets the most votes certainly generated lots of excitement in the viewers. At the same time, I wonder if these monetary prizes got the viciousness in people out in open? And make the contestants and their friends much more willing to insult others?


Pop-up Pylon

Some commentator in the Dragons’ Den forum found Packacone‘s idea similar to James’ idea. I did some more research and found the following. For Packacone’s patent, see US Patent 6338311, for James’ see Canadian patent application 2353127.

James wrote a pretty good reply on the difference in the DD forum, which I enclosed here in the comment section for completeness. As an aside, James’ reply is one of the clearest, most comprehensive and level headed reply I have seen from Dragons’ Den entrepreneurs.) There were so many accusations of people copying ideas (e.g. pizza box) in the forum that makes me wonder if these people actually took the time to read the patent before they accuse people?

Patent and market size: Now, it would have been great if James got both the US and Canadian patents. If only one can be obtained because of cost reasons, I say go with the US patent because of the market size.

Patent protection: James’ patent app is an interesting read for aspiring inventors. The drawings are pretty clear and it certainly helped me understand how the thing worked. Now, my concern is there is only one claim in the patent. May be it is enough, I don’t know as I am not a patent attorney. My gut feeling and lessons learned from my favourite video “How to Review a Patent App.?” is that I would definitely want to have a few more claims. Just in case some of my claims fail to withstand legal challenges.

Nice pitch James and all the best in your business.

Just my 2 cents.


Smiles Made Easy

I write notes sometimes to love ones but I usually use a blank post-in note to create my own. Karem was pleasant and was able to stand her ground. But I have to agree with the Arlene that it was surprising that, with the amount of publicity and media attention, the sales level remained small. So it may be a good small business for her for now, it may become an investable business when it grows much bigger.

Check out an update on the entrepreneur here.



Soft-pron as business always has its market but how big and if a business person wants to be associated with the pron industry is a different matter.


Carry Comfort, Pickers’ Mitt, Jamato Sweet Tomato Jam, Bottums Up, Bala Scarfa, The Hoodo

Some of these pitches were fun to watch (e.g. how Bala Scarfa turns a piece of scarf into a hat, etc.) but unfortunately they are not quite in the stage of investable businesses yet.

One Response to Dragons’ Den Season 2 episode 8 review

  1. kempton says:

    The following comments (between Ralfcis and the inventor of Pop-Up Pylon) were extracted from the Dragons’ Den forum for the record as I think it explains things well.
    – Kempton

    Replying to:
    […] So Pylon man, how is your pylon different from http://www.packacone.com as canuck51 found.
    Posted by ralfcis


    I appreciate your comments and question. To answer your question, the pakacone is a concept I had thought of at the very early stages of the Pop-Up Pylon. It is made of plastic rings separated with gaps and structurally held in place with a mesh fabric and plastic rivets. This product does produce the same results in terms of collapsing however, just to mention a few reasons why I did not continue with this concept. It does not hold up to the uses and conditions a pylon is put through. If it is hit it will fold to the side, (look closely at their video) if run over it will break and plastic breaks down under exposed conditions to the hot and cold temperatures. When pulled up it stands still like a regular cone (I wanted to produce a result when deployed from its base) Also, if you take a closer look, you will find the pakacone does not stack properly, the cone portion when collapsed actually protrudes from the base (just to mention a few).

    The Pop-Up Pylon is made with a rust proof lite weight steel conical spring (very strong), a solid rubber base which is extremely strong and near indestructible. The skin is made of water resistance, uv protected material and does not act as a structural part of the pylon. It can be run over (videos will be posted on our site very soon demonstrating this) and the cone itself completely collapses within the base with no protrusion giving you the ability to stack them with ease. There are built in pegs which protrude from the base that will lock another Pop-Up Pylon in place when stacked upon one another. The Pop-Up Pylon, when hit, bends and springs back into place. The wind is a great benefit because it moves the Pop-Up Pylon around without tipping over, this provides the user an extremely noticeable traffic cone without the use of batteries for add on features such as a light. Studies have shown our eyes are drawn more often to objects that actually move rather than stand still (videos will be posted on our site demonstrating this as well). The Pop-Up Pylon is versatile, nterchangeable, and can be customized to an individuals specifications. There are more benefits with our product than the plastic pakacone (I take nothing away from the pakacone its a collapsible plastic cone). I wanted to provide a better, more versatile, longer lasting traffic safety product for everyone to use for many years.

    Please visit our website at http://www.pop-uppylon.com and read about our product and see the results. After, tell us what you think by sending us a comment.

    I hope this answers your question and thank you again for you comments and question.

    Best Regards, The Pop-Up Pylon

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