CTO joins exclusive Dragons' Den club
Cycling techie Wayne Taylor joined an exclusive club when he appeared on Dragons’ Den last night and received an offer from all five Dragons.
As revealed in BusinessCloud, Wayne Taylor invented Rehook when the chain came off his bike on the way to work and he was left covered in oil after putting it back on.
The 34-year-old is a chief technology officer for two tech firms in Norwich – a FinTech called Thyngs and SaaS specialist Starboard Systems – and used 3D printing to develop a lightweight product that helps people put a cycle chain back on without getting their hands and clothes dirty
The entrepreneur has already sold 15,000 of the products for £12.99 and it proved a hit with the Dragons with all five offering to invest – only the fifth time in 14 years that a company appearing on the TV show has received a clean sweep of offers.
Taylor eventually accepted an offer of £50,000 for 25 per cent equity in the business from veteran investor Deborah Meaden.
During the pitch the Dragons were given a demonstration of this simple to use tool. Theo Pathitis volunteered to fit the bike chain with his fingers, expecting to disprove the need for the product and it convinced Meaden to invest.
“I am not a cyclist but thanks to Theo's demonstration on why the Rehook is so much better than the fumbly, messy alternative which leaves your fingers dirty and greasy, it was easy to imagine that it would become a must have item for cyclists,” she said on her official website.
“At £12.99 it is also at a price point which makes it very accessible and the perfect gift….we all know a hard to buy for cyclist!
“Wayne's key competence is in online space so he has the skill to maximise our presence and make us available to a wide online audience. A great combination and I can imagine we will be exploring further developments in the not too distant future.”
After the show, Taylor said he was delighted to get Meaden on board.
“It was fantastic to have five offers but I have always been impressed by Deborah’s straight talking and pragmatic approach,” he said. “She is already having a positive impact on the business and I’m looking forward to working with her as the business grows.”
The father-of-two revealed that his preparations for appearing on the show went a lot less smoothly than when he actually pitched to the Dragons.
“I had intended to go to the show with my wife Anna but our two boys came out in chicken pox just before the show was recording,” he said. “I also had a wardrobe malfunction as I was about to walk into the Den. Luckily another contestant had a spare shirt that they had worn on the drive to the show. It was a bit big for me and it definitely needed a wash but I gave it a quick iron and I headed in!”
Since his appearance on the Den, Taylor has begun to work on the business full time and looks forward to accelerating the company’s growth and expanding its range of products.