I wanna share with you my experience on BBC Dragon’s Den
Hey, this is Will, the founder and heart of Mak Tok!
Guess you may have come here because you’ve seen our episode on BBC 2 Dragons’ Den? If not, don’t worry! Let me put the link here, so you can watch it whenever you want! Pre-warning… there were tears!
For those who may have no idea about what Dragons’ Den is, let me give you a quick introduction!
Dragons’ Den is a very popular British TV programme that allows budding entrepreneurs, like me, to present their business ideas and pitch for financial investment from the “Dragons”(investors), while offering in return a stake of the company.
So why did I decide to go on the show?
Towards the end of 2018, we were at the stage that I didn’t know how else to grow the business without somebody else coming onboard and supporting us. So, I discussed with my team, why not try Dragons’ Den? If we manage to secure an investment, that’s great because we’ll have somebody who’s been there and done that already to help us in our own journey!
Also, of course we would love our brand to be seen by more people! Even if we didn’t get investment, I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to spread Mak Tok to more people who may love it.
If you ask me, did I expect to secure investment from a dragon..I would say, yes (what entrepreneur wouldn’t!). But to be honest, I initially had my eyes on Peter Jones as the potential investor because he has had experience before working with similar products to ours. But, it was unexpected that I eventually secured an investment from Sara Davies, which was very exciting!
When I heard about Sara’s story, I realised we are actually quite similar in the sense that we both started our businesses when we were at university. I was thinking, she might just be the right dragon for me! I felt so touched when I saw her weeping tears and I just couldn’t help shedding tears as well, as I felt she truly understood what I was saying and she had empathy for me and my story. I will never forget what she said during my pitch, ‘there are loads of chilli pastes but there’s only one Will, and I think you are great.’ That was immense encouragement for me.
Maybe you are interested in what it’s like to work with Sara and how Mak Tok has been doing since Dragons’ Den?
Sara’s team are absolutely amazing. They are easy to work with and they have provided me a great deal of professional support! I enjoy working with Sara and the team and I am happy to say that with their help Mak Tok is growing healthily, with our brand known by more and more people. We are now on Amazon, Ocado and many more stockists in the UK! In June 2020, Mak Tok went international! Despite COVID-19, we launched into Feather and Bone in Hong Kong! We have gained a strong social media presence and are bringing together more and more food lovers! This is what I really like to see 🙂
Here, I would also like to encourage you guys:
If you really want to do something, don’t be afraid to talk to the real experts in their respective fields. You will find they will provide advice you may never have thought of before! It could be another lightbulb moment to grow your ideas and develop your business. Criticism is okay, just take it onboard to make it better. That is also one of the most important things I took away from being on Dragons’ Den (apart from my very own dragon!!)
If you want to know more stories behind the scene, why not check out our video on five things you may not know about Dragons’ Den!