Dragons’ Den reject business BrewDog now worth millions

Scottish brewery company BrewDog has become a hugely successful international brand despite being rejected from Dragons’ Den.

Many hopeful entrepreneurs appear before the Dragons on the hit TV show to make their pitch, only to be told ‘I’m out’.

But BrewDog founders James Watt and Martin Dickie were gutted when they didn’t even make it that far.

The duo went for a screen trial to appear in the Den in 2009, to ask for £100,000 for a 20 percent stake in the company.

But they never appeared on the show as the producers decided their idea was not original enough.

Mr Watt said previously in a post on the group’s website: “It was a huge kick in the teeth for us at the time and that stinging rejection still burns today.”

BrewDog was founded in 2007 in Fraserburgh, with the first beer they created called ‘Punk IPA’.

The rejection from the Den inspired the founders to set up a crowdfunding campaign ‘Equity for Punks’, and they raised enough to build the world’s first crowdfunded brewery, in Ellon, which launched in 2013.

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Mr Watt said: “Looking back, despite how much of a setback it was at the time we are actually really happy we got turned down.

“It forced Martin and I to go back to the drawing board in terms of how to finance our business.”

An article in Forbes from January 2020 said the company was then worth around $2billion (now roughly £1.58million).

BrewDog launched their first bar in Aberdeen in 2010 and they now have bars all over the world selling their wide variety of beers.

In 2020, the crowdfunding campaign entered its sixth round with Equity for Punks Tomorrow. An update on the BrewDog website says Equity for Punks Tomorrow is now closed, having raised a total of £30.2million.

The group has bars all around the world, including in Iceland, Japan and China, as well as several breweries.

Dragons’ Den is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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