It was a case of one Longford man freewheeling away from Dragon’s Den with the wind at his back last Sunday night, after he secured €50,000 for 25% of his business - Ship My Tri Bike - from Dragon Barry O’Sullivan.
It was a hotly contested battle by two of the dragon’s - Ramona Nicholas and O’Sullivan - in the end as their endeavours to grab a share in Ardagh man David Sheridan’s business, which aims to transport bikes participating in competitive sports across the world by airplane, reached fever pitch.
In the end, it was all to play for after Mr Sheridan indicated that he wanted €40,000 for a 25% equity in his business, and by night’s end, he had certainly gotten more than he had bargained for.
The Longford Sport’s Rep, pitched his business idea enthusiastically on the show, and highlighted clearly how the niche market into which he was aiming, could work. “I established one of the biggest triathlons in the country and competed in the Iron Man, and it was then that I realised the hassle with transporting a bicycle,” he said. “I have designed a special transportation for bikes and established four collection points in Ireland. I have a van to collect the bikes; each trip costs about €2,000 and with insurance costing me €2,500, each bike is insured up to €3,000. Bike’s will be professionally racked in our transport vehicle and it will take the hassle of disassembling and reassembling them before and after events . The bikes will now be securely racked during travel at the front fork, frame and rear wheel, and a protective covering over it to ensure safety during travel.”
First to lead the charge was Ramona Nicholas, who said that she was intrigued by the idea because of her husband’s “obsession” with bikes. She subsequently offered Sheridan €40,000 for a 25% equity in the business. Dragon O’Sullivan however was vying more for the share in the business, and he eventually offered the Ardagh man €50,000 for 25% equity. Nicholas then came back and matched the offer, so the decision of who to bring on board lay solely with Sheridan, whose father John, hails from Granard. In the end, it was O’Sullivan who won out, citing “what you are going after is a niche, but it is a niche where people have disposable income - I see this working.”
Reacting to his Dragon’s Den success, Mr Sheridan said that it was a “huge boost” and he is currently marketing Ship My Tri Bike in both Ireland and the UK. “I was delighted with how things went on the show,” he said. “I ended up with more investment than I was looking for and that rarely happens, so it was great. I only established the business last November, so I am marketing away here at the moment. I have been very well received in Ireland and am working on the UK market at the moment.” Check out www.shipmytribike.ie for more info.