Entrepreneur Guy Jeremiah appeared on Dragons’ Den in 2010 to pitch his idea for Aquatina, a reusable water bottle that could fold down to fit in a person’s pocket.
He asked for £100,000 investment for a 10 percent stake in his business but he was roundly rejected with Duncan Bannatyne saying it was a “terrible” invention and was “cumbersome” to have in one’s pocket.
James Caan was unimpressed with Mr Jeremiah’s track record of sales, as he had sold 340 bottles, with a revenue of £702.
Mr Caan said: “You’re proposing a business with a turnover of £700, that you are valuing at £1million, is that correct? I’m going to make it very easy for you, I’m out.”
Theo Paphitis was also dismayed with the pitch, telling him it was “one of those ‘I’d rather stick pins in my eyes’ moments”.
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The dragon was unconvinced the product could provide a profitable alternative to single-use bottles as he said single-use bottles were much more convenient.
Despite the setback, Mr Jeremiah went on to sign a distribution deal with Marks and Spencer who distributed the item in more than 15 countries.
He rebranded the company with the name Ohyo and an article from Insider Growth said the company had grown to be worth £5million.
Several reviewers on Amazon said they bought it after they saw Mr Jeremiah’s pitch on Dragons’ Den.
One five star reviewer said: “My son loves the design and it is really useful to fit into a small school bag which is jam packed with heavy books and school equipment.
“His friends are impressed and he is drinking more water at school which is a great benefit.”
Another happy customer said: “The idea of a machine washable, collapsible water bottle seemed great to me.
“No more needing to carry around an empty bottle bulking my bag up, instead I could use this and fold it down when I’m done.
“Practical and green, how great is that! What’s more, if I don’t want to fill my whole bottle up I can fold it down a bit more saving space.”
The bottle has also been sold by Boots and in National Trust and the British Museum gift shops.
Episodes of Dragons’ Den are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
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