Personal Finance

‘I was going to lose my house’ Dragons’ Den entrepreneur sees success after abysmal pitch

Asking for £250,000 for 25 percent stake in the business, James Nash shared his idea for a portable and ready-to-serve wine goblet and was promptly ridiculed for this “ridiculous” idea. After being told that “people don’t want to buy wine in plastic glasses” Mr Nash walked out of the den empty-handed and feared losing his house and his business.

Having experience working at outdoor events, James Nash spotted a gap in the market when he noticed good wine being wasted in cardboard cups.

Mr Nash looked to make a ‘to-go-wine’ goblet that would enable people to have ready-to-serve and easy to carry wine wherever they wanted. 

A single serving of wine in a plastic goblet with a sealed lid seemed to be a brilliant idea with unlimited branding possibilities to Mr Nash, but the dragons were nowhere near so optimistic. 

Watching the pitch, Mr Nash’s nerves are almost physically tangible as he was cross-examined by the Dragons.

Arguably one of Mr Nash’s biggest issues in his nervous pitch was overselling and misunderstanding some crucial concepts that the Dragons were asking about. 

Stating that he had a possible order for three million units from a large wine company when Deborah Meaden asked what the reception of the goblets had been. 

He then provided what he believed to be a letter of intent which was quickly ripped apart, along with his profit projections, by all of the Dragons. 

James Caan also took a moment to question Mr Nash, as he had valued his company at around £1million based on his letter of intent, which turned out to not be a letter of intent at all. 


Before going into the den Mr Nash had applied for a patent on the process the company used to create these air-tight goblets which contained an inert gas to make the wine taste better for longer.

Additionally, issues with the patent, namely the fact that his application only concerned the process of putting the wine in a plastic goblet and sealing it, created some concern that copycats could easily take advantage of the available loopholes. 

In quick succession, Mr Caan and Ms Meaden declined based on the confusion around the letter of intent and Duncan Bannatyne was quick to add onto his defeat. 

“I think you know it won’t stand up,” Mr Bannatyne criticised. 

Saying that he believed Mr Nash knew there would be problems with the patent being approved which is why he was appearing before the Dragons at that time.

In a desperate plea to salvage his pitch Mr Nash even called in his marketing director to give more information and testimony to the product. 

“Coming out with a ‘no’ was pretty daunting. I thought I was going to lose my house.

“I was spent out by then, nearly £300,000 me and my wife had put in so we thought if we don’t get this money it could be the end of the company,” Mr Nash shared on a follow-up episode of Dragons’ Den.

However, a mere 12 months after his original appearance, the goblets were stocked in M&S and plans for a nationwide rollout, albeit with a low profit margin and Mr Nash had gotten rid of his nerves.

Additionally, Mr Nash’s patents were approved and an M&S spokesperson noted that the goblets were selling well with a double digit growth week on week and that the goblets would then go into 600 stores. 

“Given the anguish and heartache I’ve gone through to get here, I’m over the moon,” Mr Nash commented. 

“Customers are loving it now and that has given me the confidence to answer Duncan back and say “No, you’re wrong.”


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