The Dragons’ Den bosses missed the mark with BrewDog – after bosses rejected a business now worth more than a billion pounds.
Hundreds of entrepreneurs have gone to visit the infamous five wealthy investors and some of them left with their investments.
In some cases for those who could not convince the dragons for an investment, there are companies that either by luck, hard work, or simply the fact of not giving up, are worth millions toady – if not billions.
This is the case of BrewDog, a Scottish beer craft that is one success story to make note of.
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The beginnings of BrewDog
Originally from Ellon, Scotland, James Watt and Martin Dickie met at high school.
Beer lovers and in their mid-20s, the two decided to risk it all and create their own business.
They had the mission of becoming the UK’s strongest ever beer and they were determined to make it work.
Relying on bank loans and starting by exporting their business around the world, they became Scotland’s largest independent brewery.
According to The Sun, BrewDog has won several awards in its 15-year history. It also boasts more than 100 bars across the globe. That being said, it is also worth an astonishing £1.6 billion.
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BrewDog’s rejection at Dragons’ Den
In 2008, founders James Watt and Martin Dickie applied to go on Dragon’s Den and pitch their business to the five wealthy investors.
As per BrewDog’s blog, the business was just two years old at the time and wanted to impress the Dragons.
Once they successfully submitted their application, James and Martin drove to Manchester’s BBC studios for a screen test.
As they “pitched our hearts out”, the producers were not convinced about the originality or the future of their product.
For that reason, “they were out” before the Dragons themselves could even hear the pitch and give their verdict.
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Fast forward a decade – they’re worth over a billion
They wanted to offer 20% for the big investment, which CEO James says would have been worth a whopping £360million today.
He said: “Meaning the dragons missed out on by far the best deal in den history.”
Not receiving the £100,000 investment, the two turned to investors around the world, whom they call “Equity Punks”.
Although things were tough for the pair, the entrepreneurs never gave up on their business.
14 years later, BrewDog has now become a success internationally with its product being sold around the globe.
CEO James Watt wrote on his LinkedIn earlier this year: ”We got over the rejection eventually. But it took a while.”
However, Watt and Dickie have not forgotten those who did not believe in them, even if they are now thriving on their crafted-beer success.