GM BUSINESS connect
Driven by a Dr Ed Hollands is a budding entrepreneur from Derby in his early 20’s. Like most people his age Social Media and building and maintaining a connected community online seems to come second nature. Couple that with Ed’s natural flair for creating a business opportunity and bringing it to fruition made a natural fit for the investment of both a mentor and investor.
Already comfortable with the value of a mentor (Ed had already had one from before he left Derby University), it was almost inevitable that Ed sought the investment of both advice, cash and contacts from the iconic Dragons’ Den for
his truck advertising business, DrivenMedia.
GM Business Connect caught up with Ed at The Offices in King Street for chat about his experience through Dragons’ Den and how things have developed since his investment by Dragon Jenny Campbell who hails originally from Hyde in Greater Manchester:
What made you apply to go on Dragon’s Den? “Multiple Reasons. I grew up watching it so I was aware of its impact and thought it’d be great to go on. Also, we were really struggling with awareness and
needed to let people know that they could be advertising on the sides of trucks.
How often do you and Jenny Campbell meet up? Or, do you now work with her team?
“So, we wanted to get on the show even for 10 minutes of TV airtime - and of course potential investment.”
“Most contact is through Stefan her Investment Director but should I need to contact her for advice I have her email and phone number. Most if the time it’s better to run things past Stefan as he has great arranging capabilities.
What inspired your business idea? “Walking down the A38 in Derby! In rush hour traffic, I realised that during traffic standstills, everyone was looking straight at the trucks.”
The producers edited 2 hours of your time down to ten minutes. Did that time seem to go quickly for you? What did you cover that wasn’t aired? “It was lots of things really. There were questions that were commercially sensitive so not suitable for broadcast. A lot of numbers, them getting to understand me, where I want to go and what I’m looking for. The final edit was kept a secret but I think they did an amazing editing job.”
You asked the Dragons for a £30,000 investment for 10% of the business, but snatched the offer of 20% without any negotiating with Jenny Campbell. Why was that?
“We try to meet four times a year to review where the business is going and since the show has been aired, it’s been brilliant. It’s been a year since my two hours in the Den. There was a 9 month gap between participation in the show (securing the investment) and the show being aired, during which we had to arrange, finalise and commit to terms - all the while keeping it a secret.” “I couldn’t tell any other potential customers about the Dragon’s Den deal nor have it leak on Social Media - it was a killer! Jenny too was bound to the same terms of media non-disclosure so business really took off after the airing.”
When you were in the Den, you valued the business at £300,000. What do you value the business at now that you have the investment from Jenny?
“I had had a meeting with my mentor the day before and we decided that the ideal offer would be £30,000 and 20%. Any more and we’d have to think about. “People have said that I could or should have got more investment and gone down to 15% but I don’t need more, and I am happy with 20% as Jenny’s involvement is more than the money she brings. Her experience in scaling business is worth it. She will drive the business forward, allowing us to employ others and growing our sales force. The business has gone from ‘one and me’ to a team of maybe ten and me!”
Ed Hollands with Jenny Campbell
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