Local entrepreneurs have been taking on the venture capitalists of Dragons’ Den in the hopes of securing funding for their novel business ideas.
Today’s Dragons’ Den (Sunday, April 27) sees Kilkenny’s Ray Shannon bravely enter the Den. An engineer, Ray pitches a trolley token that will unlock and completely remove a shopping trolley without the use of a coin.
Originally from Wexford, now living in Kilkenny, Ray has specialised in sheet metal fabrication for the past 15 years. He has come up with TrolKey – a removable, double-sided trolley token designed to completely unlock and remove shopping trolleys without the use of a coin, or the need to return the trolley afterwards. TrolKey has a slot down the centre and can unlock the trolley by inserting it and releasing the chain. You can then remove TrolKey completely. Ray is looking for €10,000 for 15% of the business. The Dragons all agree that Ray has come up with an ‘ingenious’ idea, but Superquinn king Eamonn Quinn is very much on the fence as he feels insurance costs and car damage claims could be problematic.
It follows last week’s success by Mary Enright, a goldsmith who previously trained in Kilkenny with the Design & Crafts Council, and worked with James Mary Kelly in his workshop in Castle Yard. She received investment from Dragon Peter Casey.
After leaving Kilkenny, Ms Enright opened her own design workshop in Kinsale. Currently making once-off bespoke and commission pieces, she is expanding to produce ranges to be sold through retail outlets. She will exhibit at the International Jewellery London trade show in August.