As Seen on TV

Take that, Dragons!


Inventor told to leave the den is beating the crunch with million-pound contract


An entrepreneur who was rejected on Dragons' Den has just won a multimillion-pound order. Inventor Martin Wadsworth went head to head with Duncan Bannatyne and Theo Paphitis who argued that no one would buy his product ThermaSkirt. But the businessman is now beating the credit crunch crisis after just securing a contract worth up to £4 million next year alone.


And the firm has secured orders from other companies which could see its turnover rise even further. Mr. Wadsworth, who appeared on the BBC2 show last month, was rounded on by the Dragons after asking for £150,000 for a 10 per cent stake in his company DiscreteHeat ,which manufactures a radiator that looks exactly like a skirting board.

Martin Wadsworth in Dragons's Den
Into the den: Inventor Martin Wadsworth goes head to head with Duncan Bannatyne as he shows him ThermaSkirt.

The inventor, who had a sparring session with multi-millionaire Mr Bannatyne, said:

 "Going on Dragons' Den was a very daunting experience and very nerve-racking. You don't meet the Dragons beforehand or afterwards so there is no camaraderie. It turned into something very adversarial. It really was an ordeal by fire. I walked in and saw them for the first time and gave them my presentation.

Then as soon as I finished the first question, Duncan Bannatyne asked what was wrong with my product. So straight away, it was head to head with him. I didn't fall for that one and said you tell me what is wrong with it and I will counter. He couldn't come up with anything because we don't have any problems. It is pretty bullet-proof. He has no idea of anything to do with the plumbing industry and suggested we make it out of wood."


Martin Wadsworth
Martin Wadsworth

Martin defended his product well, but did not get an investment from the Dragons. DiscreteHeat works by using aluminium shaped and styled like a skirting board but with built-in pipes. These built-in pipes are then heated with hot water from the central heating system. The system saves valuable wall space and has also been proven to be anything up to 25 per cent more energy saving than radiators. But the Dragons took an adversarial stance with the product.

Mr Wadsworth said:

 "The scene when Duncan suggested I make it out of wood to save costs and where I told him: "It's an idea Duncan but I won't be exploring it" has now been viewed by thousands of people on YouTube. I then went through the finances and the potential of the product with them. I showed them an order but Theo Paphitis wasn't having any of it and said it wasn't an order. He was being very difficult. He said that no one would buy it even though I had already sold 1,500 systems. Duncan also said that no one would buy it."

And Deborah Meaden thought that it might set the dust on fire which is rubbish - she was just being awkward.

Peter Jones and James Caan were complimentary about it but accepted they couldn't bring anything to the table because it was not their line of interest.

Mr Wadsworth, whose firm is based in Atherton, Greater Manchester, went on Dragons' Den in September after coming up with the idea while property developing three years ago. He launched the product at the end of 2006 but initially struggled to find distributors and suppliers.

Duncan Bannatyne
Video investment: The banter between Duncan and Martin has been viewed thousands of times on YouTube.
Dragons Den
Enter the Dragons: James Caan, Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones, Theo Paphitis and Duncan Bannatyne.

He said:

  "The scene when Duncan suggested I make it out of wood to save costs and where I told him: "It's an idea Duncan but I won't be exploring it" has now been viewed by thousands of people on YouTube. I then went through the finances and the potential of the product with them. I showed them an order but Theo Paphitis wasn't having any of it and said it wasn't an order. He was being very difficult. He said that no one would buy it even though I had already sold 1,500 systems. Duncan also said that no one would buy it.

He said he wanted to see me so I went down to their head office and showed the product to four of their executives and directors and the following week I presented it to the whole company's board. They were really excited about it and I have now just signed a contract with them. Plumbase estimate that it will be worth between two and four million pounds next year.

I developed it because I was dissatisfied with radiators and underfloor heating. It is very easy to fit, is space saving and more energy efficient than both of them. It was a nerve-racking experience going on Dragons' Den and it was disappointing that they had no idea what a huge success the product could be. But it raised the profile of the company and as a direct result we got the multi-million pound order so in the end it was very positive."

They have also signed a deal with Britain's biggest retirement builder McCarthy and Stone which is worth around £2 million and with Omar Homes which could be worth around £1.25 million. Interior designed Linda Barker is also now a client.

Commercial director at Plumbase, Malcolm Whitton said:

 "This unique ThermaSkirt product has enormous potential in an increasingly energy efficiency driver construction sector. It's a fantastic opportunity for the company and one that proves just how wrong Duncan Bannatyne was."


Source:
Daily Mail - 24 October 2008



Did Martin get the money?


Did the Dragons get it right?


Did Martin really go round to 'Duncans'?


Does James Cann "reel in the one that got away?"


Thermaskirt on TV at Ecobuild


Home of the Future with e.on

6 weeks from Sunday 12th February, 7pm Channel 4

What happens if you ask a normal family to boldly go where no-one has gone before - to live in the future? A new Channel 4 series, sponsored by one of the UK's leading energy companies E.ON, and produced by Twofour, transforms the lives of a family, filling their home from top-to-bottom with futuristic technology and gadgets.

As well as having cutting-edge technology and gadgets to play with, the Perera family in Sheffield will be challenged by scenarios likely to come in the next twenty to fifty years – including using renewable heat sources.

Running off an Air Source Heat Pump (Mitsubishi Ecodan) and backed up with solar thermal, the producers wanted to show how practical it is to update an existing property to the latest eco standards.

The producers were concerned that opting for Underfloor heating, as is the default for most Heat Pump suppliers, would cause far too much physical disruption to the house and delay for several more weeks the target 4 week project.

As a result it was agreed to install ThermaSkirt as a more practical alternative to UFH.

DiscreteHeat was asked to completely revamp the 5 bedroom detached house with ThermaSkirt, replacing every radiator and skirting board in every room.

Home of the Future

Home of the Future

Using the existing radiator pipework, the ThermaSkirt installer completed the task in 3 days, installing a total of 8 rooms + the hall.

Heat pumps are able to work better than expected due to the low water content of ThermaSkirt and its rapid response times. By heating the house quickly and with minimal water, the Heat Pump is able to work only when needed, improving the overall annualised CoP of the system.

See what the Experts think of ThermaSkirt www.homeofthefuture.tv/show/rest, then click on the ‘Air Source Heat Pumps’ segment.


Home of the Future

Home of the Future
Home of the Future

Home of the Future

Homes under the Hammer


Lucy Alexander discusses ThermaSkirt


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Company

Showroom:
DiscreteHeat Company Limited
1 Victoria Works Industrial Estate
Coal Pit Lane, Atherton
Manchester, M46 0FY

01942 88 00 60
01942 66 51 04
info@discreteheat.co.uk

VAT# 884427392
Company Reg# 5594330