14 Aug 2022

Irish couple pit dragons against each other in nail-biting episode of Dragons' Den

Irish couple pit dragons against each other in nail-biting episode of Dragons' Den

Husband-and-wife team James and Aileen McCauley triumphed on BBC One Dragons’ Den last night as the couple secured the investment they were looking for. 

Armed with The Wriggler – their anti-roll changing mat designed for babies who wriggle and writhe during nappy changes - and their life size 8-month-old baby doll who they affectionately nicknamed Sam, the couple enthralled the UK Dragons Sara Davies, Touker Suleyman, Deborah Meaden,Tej Lalvani and Theo Paphitis with their presentation, demonstration and product.

“We were looking for an investment of £50k for a 25% stake in The Wriggler. Having done our research we had identified the two Dragons that we felt would be best for the business – Sara Davies who is a mum of young kids with great experience of bringing craft products to the market or Touker Suleyman with 40 years of retail and manufacturing experience in the baby space,” commented Aileen.

From the get-go, their experience was full of twists and drama, including a bizarre offer from Touker which even surprised the other Dragons and had them rushing to the couple’s defence. In the end it was an offer of £50k for a 35% stake in the business from Sara Davies which they accepted. Sara has a wealth of experience of exporting products to international markets so is the ideal Dragon for the McCauley’s to take The Wriggler worldwide. 

In fact, none of the other entrepreneurs managed to secure investment in the episode, highlighting just how impressive the McCauley’s pitch was.

“It’s quite bewildering to take in everything, number crunching, negotiating and having to make a decision in such a pressurised space knowing our every word and move was being scrutinised by the Dragons in front of a studio full of cameras,” said James.

 “The Wriggler has been like our third child and like any parents, we want to give our children roots and wings. We feel we’ve given The Wriggler strong roots and doing a deal Sara will help to give it the wings it needs. We are delighted to have her onboard to guide us globally and bring the Wriggler to a worldwide audience. We’re incredibly excited about the future,” he said.

The Wriggler has already proved its popularity notching up awards and plaudits from some of the largest independent parenting review websites in the UK. Parents have called it a ‘miracle mat’ and their ‘sanity saver’.

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