BY SEÁN P. FEENY
TONIGHT a Donegal-based entrepreneur could not entice RTÉ One’s Dragons to invest in his innovative miniature personal care and hygiene kits, but all is not lost.
Thomas Cullen was featured on the popular programme Dragons’ Den where he pitched his new business Pocket Heroes to the potential investors.
Thomas is the inventor and managing director of the portable product for people on the go, travelling or going to a meeting. It consists of hand cream, face balm, mouth wash and hand cleanser in a packet that conveniently fits into your pocket.
While Donegal Dragon Ramona Nicholas immediately ruled herself out due to a conflict of interest, having been offered the product before before, the other Dragons, after some discussion, also ruled themselves out, mainly due to fears of the handy pocket-sized product being copied.
The Muff-based businessman, who works out of the CoLab at Letterkenny Institute of Technology where he has been developing his business, said he was not too worried about not having gained funding from the Dragons last night.
He said: “It was a great opportunity of creating product awareness and if investiment came, well and good, but if not I wasn’t going to be too worries about it. The Dragons bowed out mainly due to concerns over the fact that they thought our product may be copied, but if people wanted to do so they would have to invest heavily in creating unique packaging, as well as the bespoke products in the kit.”
Since the programme was filmed two months ago, Thomas has been very busy doing a lot of consumer surveys and travelling, promoting his product.
Pocket Heroes, has been described by Dutch airline KLM,as ‘innovative and ingenious’, is already being stocked in two international airports, Dublin and Cork, and in over 100 pharmacies in Ireland, thanks to Uniphar, and 60 vending machines in Dublin. “In April I visited a large travel industry expo in Hamburg, Germany, in our ongoing process of seeking distributors, so if there is anyone out there interested, we would be delighted to hear from them as we continue to expand our business.”
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