Many of us tuned in on Sunday, March 15 to watch as a Northern Irish electrician-turned-entrepreneur appeared on BBC show Dragons’ Den to seek investment for his product. David and Julie Gray from Lisburn are co-founders of Gray’s Clip Limited and their product, the ‘ViperClip’, is a fully insulated cable clip which works with a battery powered stapler to secure 110v and 240v cables to wooden joists and structures.
The revolutionary invention was created by David after spending over 25 years having to manually hammer individual clips to secure electric cables to joists, unable to find any stapling products suitable. He took redundancy, sold his house and invested his life savings into bringing his idea to life. After developing their prototypes David and Julie decided it was time to face the Dragons and signed up for the show. The two were the final entrepreneurs in the episode, and when it came to their interview before taking on the Dragons, David stated plainly: “We believe in this business, and we believe this will transform how electricians work all over the world.” With that, they walked in to face the five prospective investors.
After the opening pitch from Julie, the Dragons got up to try using the product themselves and were blown away by how easy to use it was, even taking the time to get a little competitive with each other. The two were off to a flying start, with high praise for the product coming from all over the room.
Tej Lalvani said: “Amazing. It’s elegant, it does exactly what it’s supposed to, it’s a game changer in terms of safety” and Peter Jones expressed his admiration for the couple themselves and the dedication they had shown in getting their business started. Julie and David received an impressive four offers based around their initial request for an investment of £80,000 from the Dragons in return for a 15% stake in their business.
The Dragons even went so far as to join together and unite their offers for a chance at winning over the couple, however in the end, David and Julie went with veteran dragon Deborah Meadon, who showed sincere enthusiasm for the product and the deal she had just struck.
Commenting on the experience of being on the show, Julie said: “We were thrilled to get the opportunity to pitch to the Dragons. It was such an involved process that really filters out what you know – and what you don’t! It wasn’t easy, but it’s an experience we’ll definitely remember.”
Support for the couple has been circulating all over social media, with many complimenting the product and congratulating the couple, whose website received 3.5 million visitors after the show aired.