Mark Champkins is a trained engineer and invents products to help children concentrate and be at their best to get the most of their time at school. He set up Concentrate following his product design research project at the Royal College of Art and participating in the NESTA Graduate Pioneer Programme.
Where did the investment come from?
To begin with Mark won some funding to develop his prototypes, present to John Lewis and to help set up production in China, the supply chain and initial online and retail sales.
To get his business to the next stage, Mark appeared on BBC’s Dragons’ Den. Mark took investment from Peter Jones (he agreed £100,000 for 40% of the business) and now has a turnover in the region of £150,000 per annum selling through John Lewis, Sainsburys and Debenhams, museum stores and online sales. You can view extracts from the TV show here.
If you are considering seeking external investment, pay particular attention to the key questions posed by the Dragons. Mark’s pitch is a good example of how to face a tough panel and negotiate.
Se7ern Magazine has a good interview with Mark, giving more detail of his career and business development. Read it here.