Graduate secures Dragon’s Den investment

Jennifer Duthie

31 July 2014

An Aston University graduate secured a £60,000 investment in her start-up company on hit BBC show Dragon’s Den. 

Jennifer Duthie pitched for financial backing for her childrenswear firm, Skribbies, on the programme. The show, which first aired in 2005, allows entrepreneurs to present their companies to a panel of wealthy investors to secure financial backing. 

Capably dealing with a series of probing questions and impressing with her sample products, Jennifer convinced ‘Dragons’ Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linley to contribute £30,000 each for  a combined 25% stake in the business. 

Business and Management graduate, Jennifer, said: “The Den was very daunting but I felt I handled the challenges and the grilling I received well. I know both Dragons are going to bring a lot to the company and I am really excited to work with them. The whole experience of being on the show was fantastic and it was amazing to be a part of the launch episode for the new series.” 

The whole experience of being on the show was fantastic

Skribbies, founded in 2013, produces children’s shoes that can be completely customised from new every day. The shoes have a specially developed surface, allowing children to draw on them, wipe it off and start all over again. 

Jennifer added: “The concept for Skribbies was inspired by my memories of childhood. For me, creating things and expressing myself by using fabric paints to customise headbands, t-shirts and shoes was a rite of passage. I want to help share those experiences with children growing up today.” 

Previously, Jennifer reached the finals of the 2013 Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur Award where she competed for £10,000 of funding. She was also shortlisted for the finals of the Virgin Pioneers ‘Pitch to Rich’ competition. 

More information about Jennifer and her experiences following her appearance on Dragon’s Den can be found on her blog. The episode is available to view on BBC iplayer. Jennifer appears at around 30 minutes. 

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For further media information, please contact Jonathan Garbett, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4552 or j.garbett@aston.ac.uk