Sales rise is sole benefit from business show Dragons' Den
AN ASPIRING Swansea businessman has had a boost in sales despite getting a grilling from the gurus on business show Dragons' Den.
Former DJ Mark Shepherd appealed to the panel of business experts for £50,000 for a 15 per cent stake in his business but left empty handed.
The entrepreneur has spent four years developing itsoles — an insole device which allows users to carry scented insoles in their shoes which will not slip during use.
The 49-year-old from Mumbles failed to attract the investment he was after but, following broadcast of the show on Sunday, has seen orders and sales increase.
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Mr Shepherd's product is already being produced in China with the backing of five investors putting in a total of £65,000.
The inventor was hoping to take the next step and ideally enter international markets with the help of contacts garnered through investment from the Dragons.
He appeared on the latest edition of the show with two models to demonstrate the benefits of the itsoles product.
Dragon Duncan Bannatyne quizzed Mr Shepherd on the funding he has already secured for his invention and said: "I do think it is something that would be very difficult to make a huge profit on.
"I think you have got something here but I think it is just too risky and too much hard work for me to invest in it."
Mr Bannatyne also asked Mr Shepherd who owns the company and if investors who had already committed funds had asked for projections.
He replied: "The reason I need investment is for marketing and to establish the brand.
"My original investors never asked for any projections."
The long time bastion of the show has invested millions of pounds since the series began and joked: "Could I have their telephone numbers? I would like some investments in my companies."
Following the show Mr Shepherd said: "My sales have increased since the show was broadcast and sales have been quite good.
"I've been approached by a podiatrist who was keen to endorse the product.
"I was in the den for 45 minutes but only 12 minutes were broadcast."