Dragons' Den

Dragons' Den (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Dragons' Den is a series of reality television programmes featuring entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas in order to secure investment finance from a panel of venture capitalists. The show originated in Japan as ".

Show format

The contestants are usually product designers or service operators who have what they consider to be a viable and potentially very profitable business idea, but who lack funding and direction. They pitch their idea to five rich entrepreneurial businesspeople, the eponymous "dragons" (or "tigers" in the original Japanese show, "sharks" in the U.S. and Israeli versions and "lions" in Finland and Romania). The contestants have, before the show, named an amount of money that they wish to get, and the rules stipulate that if they do not raise at least this amount from the dragons, they get nothing. In return, the contestant gives the dragons a percentage of the company's stock, which is the chief point of negotiation.

Once the contestant has made the presentation, the dragons probe the idea further, often revealing an embarrassing lack of preparation on the part of the contestant, or uncovering troubling facts and consequently rejecting the investment, or revealing a sound business proposition and offering to invest capital in return for equity.

The show does not reveal the whole pitch as scenes are selected and cut out of the episode.


Dragons' Den series have been produced in numerous different countries. Apart from in Japan (where the show debuted) the show names, structures, and styles are based upon the UK version.


In Afghanistan, the show is called Fikr wa Talash.

Arab world

In the Arab world, Dragons' Den was known as Dragons' Den: Al Aareen ?"????"? (The Den). It was broadcast on the Lebanese channel Future Television and was hosted by Ibrahim Abu Jawdeh. The show received contestants from various Arab countries.

The panel of Dragons for the 2007 series consisted of:

  • Omar El-Quqa
  • Ahmad Tantash
  • Nassif Karam
  • Roger Azar


The Australian version of Dragons' Den was broadcast on the Seven Network and hosted by Andrew O'Keefe. Different from other versions, the host ran through the outline of the business with the contestant then negotiating with the Dragons for a deal. It was produced by Michael Horrock. The Australian Dragons were:

  • Peter Higgins
  • Sarina Russo
  • Siimon Reynolds
  • Darryn Lyons
  • Suzi Dafnis
The Seven Network announced in December 2005 that the show would not be back for a second season after poor ratings.


English version

See Dragons' Den (Canada) for more information The Canadian Dragons are/were:

Seat Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6 Season 7
Jim Treliving
Kevin O'Leary
Jennifer Wood
Arlene Dickinson
Laurence Lewin
W. Brett Wilson
Bruce Croxon
Robert Herjavec
David Chilton

Quťbec version in French

The Quťbťcois version: Dans L'Oeil du Dragon (In the Dragon's Eye), began airing in 2012, hosted by Paul Houde. The Dragons are:

  • Dany Vachon - co-founder of Impera Advisory Inc., PVG Partners LLC and Fusion Immunovative/NVNC
  • DaniŤle Henkel - president and founder of DaniŤle Henkel Inc
  • FranÁois Lambert - co-founder of Aheeva and Atelka
  • Gaťtan Frigon - executive chairman of Publipage
  • Normand Legault - member of several boards of directors


The Croatian version of Dragons' Den called Zmajevo gnijezdo was scheduled to be broadcast in May 2007 on Croatian Radiotelevision and produced by Ocean Film, a local production company.

Contracted Croatian Dragons were:

  • Maja Pe?arevi"? - owner of Generalturist, the leading and oldest travel agency in Croatia.
  • Hrvoje Prpi"? - owner of Smee d.o.o, bamboo flooring company.
  • Davor ?tern - owner of Trade Consulting d.o.o., business consulting company.
  • Juroslav Buljuba?i"? - co-owner of Blue Line International, the international maritime company.
  • Branko Rogli"? - owner of Orbico, one of the leading importers and distributors of various consumer goods and toys in Croatia.
A few shows were filmed but never broadcast because of undisclosed reasons.

Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, the show is called Den D (The D-Day).

It first aired on 31 March 2009 on Czech TV (CT1 channel), in a very similar set up to the British version of BBC.

The show is hosted by radio host Jan Pokorny, and the dragon investors are:

  • Ivan Pilny - former GM of Microsoft in Czech Republic, Chairman of the Board of Czech Telecom and entrepreneur (1st & 3rd series)
  • Marta Novakova - founder and CEO of U&SLUNO software company (1st, 2nd & 3rd series)
  • Ondrej Bartos - serial entrepreneur, consultant and venture capitalist, Partner with Credo Ventures (1st & 2nd series)
  • Dana Berova - former minister of informatics, entrepreneur and Business Development Director of Gartner (1st, 2nd & 3rd series)
  • Tomio Okamura - Czech-Japanese entrepreneur in travel and retail, he brings Japanese tourists to the Czech Republic and sells Japanese products to Czechs (1st, 2nd & 3rd series)
  • Michael Rostock - investment banker and advisor with Venture Investors Corporate Finance (2nd & 3rd series)
The Dragons are/were:

Seat Series 1 Series 2 Series 3 Series 4
Ivan Pilnż
Michael Rostock
Ond?ej Barto?
Ivan Pilnż
Margareta K?Ū?ovŠ
Dana BťrovŠ
Petra RychnovskŠ
Marta NovŠkovŠ
John Vanhara
Tomio Okamura
Michal Hanus


In Finland Dragons' Den is called Leijonan kita, which means the jaws or the mouth of a lion. The show started running in Finland on 27 September 2007 on MTV3 channel. The show was hosted by Anna Sorainen. The local Dragons, or Leijonat (lions), are:

  • KyŲsti Kakkonen
  • Eero Lehti
  • Toivo Sukari
  • Lisa Sounio
  • Kaija Ward


An Irish version of the show began in 2009 on RT"? One, the state broadcaster. It is presented by Richard Curran, Deputy Editor of The Sunday Business Post.

The Irish Dragons are/were:

Seat Series 1 Series 2 Series 3 Series 4
Niall O'Farrell
Bobby Kerr
Sarah Newman
Norah Casey
Sean O'Sullivan
Gavin Duffy
SeŠn Gallagher
Norah Casey
The Dragons have appeared on television in Ireland, in promotion of the series, on Tubridy Tonight, on RT"? One. RT"? started broadcasting show promos after Christmas as part of their winter line-up.

The first episode was broadcast on 19 February 2009.

A third season of Dragons' Den began airing on RT"? One, on Thursday, 20 February 2011. Norah Casey was the new Dragon for the third season. Episodes at the end of the third season, for the first time on Dragons' Den in Ireland, showed the Dragons on tour visiting their past investments.

Dragon SeŠn Gallagher stood for President of Ireland in 2011 but came second behind poet and intellectual Michael D. Higgins after a controversy erupted over a "?5,000 cheque he had received in an envelope.

A fourth season of Dragons' Den was commissioned. Sean O'Sullivan replaced SeŠn Gallagher. Sean is co-founder at Avego Ltd, based in Kinsale.

For the fourth series of Dragons' Den, a live, interactive "Sixth Dragon Game" was developed to be played whilst watching the show. Where viewers are able to decide in real time if they're IN or OUT as the pitches unfold. The "Sixth Dragon Game" is the first live, interactive game for a TV show in Ireland.

Episodes of Dragons' Den are also now being shown on Dave every Wednesday at 7pm which means it is also available to the Great Britain. Episodes began airing on 6 July 2011. Rte are currently filming a 5th series along with Junior Dragons Den featuring companies such as LyeTech and Donegal Pens to name but a few.


In Israel, Dragons' Den is entitled Hakrishim, which is Hebrew for "The Sharks". It is produced by Gil Productions and is broadcast on Channel 10. It is hosted by Guy Zohar. In the Israeli version, there are 6 dragons who rotate their appearance weekly. The first season was broadcast during the summer and fall of 2006. The dragons in season 1 were: Ze'ev Holtzman, Israela Shtier, Aviv Tzidon, Oded Dessau, Jacky Ben-Zaken, and Nir Sharatzki. The second season began being broadcast on Channel 10 on 24 May 2007. As in the first season, the dragons rotate their appearance weekly. Aviv Tzidon and Jacky Ben-Zaken returned from the first season and were joined by the following new dragons:

  • Yossi Moldavsky
  • Nir Barkat
  • Amir Eyal
  • Roni Ross
  • Amos Luzon


Titled "????? ManÍ no Tora" (Money Tigers), this is the original version. It was created by and broadcast on Nippon Television from 2001 to 2004. It was the first entertainment programme in the history of Japanese television that dealt with the concept of business investment. During its three year run, as many as 16 business executives appeared in the programme as Tigers.


In the Netherlands the show was broadcast in May 2007 on Nederland 3, every Friday at 20.25 (+1 GMT). The second and last season was broadcast in May 2008 on Nederland 3, every Monday at 21.25 (+1 GMT). As in the first season, it was hosted by Jort Kelder.

The dragons were:

  • Henk Keilman
  • Annemarie van Gaal
  • Jan Pieter Melchior (2007)
  • Willem Sijthoff
  • Arjen de Koning
  • George Banken (2008)

New Zealand

In New Zealand Dragons' Den is broadcast on TV One and hosted by Rawdon Christie. Initially the UK and Australian series were broadcast, but a local version was produced and screened in 2006. The series is produced by Eyeworks Touchdown. The New Zealand Series 1 Dragons are:

  • Julie Christie
  • Bob Jones
  • Annette Presley
  • Paul Webb
  • Barry Colman
Production company Eyeworks Touchdown is currently soliciting applications for a second series of Dragons' Den.


Nigeria's adaptation of Dragons' Den was broadcast weekly in 2008 on the AIT Network and produced by Storm Vision.

The Nigerian Dragons were:

  • Prince Femi Tejuoso
  • Ibunkun Awosika
  • Chris Parkes
  • Alexander Amosu
  • John Momoh
  • Tokunboh Ishmael
A second series is now being commissioned.


In Poland, the program is called "Dragons Den - How to be a millionaire" and is broadcast on the station TV4 since 2011. The biggest win in the program happened April 24, 2011 in the amount 15,000,000 PLN (5,500,000 U.S. dollars)

The Polish Dragons in 2011 are:

  • Maciej Kaczmarski founder, Kaczmarski Inkasso companies, the National Debt Register and Reliable Company, called the king of Polish recovery
  • Anna Garwoli"?ska, head of Glaubicz Garwoli"?ska Consultants
  • Grzegorz Hajdarowicz, owner of the Group Gremi
  • Marian Owerko CEO Bakalland
  • Krzysztof Golonka, president of an investment fund Xevin


There is a Romanian version of the format called Arena Leilor. The Romanian Lions are:

  • Marius Ghenea
  • Dragos Anastasiu
  • Florin Talpes
  • Mircea Tudor
  • Mihaela Nicola
The show started in 2007.


There was a Russian version of the format called KAPITAL.

Saudi Arabia

It was announced in December 2009 that Saudi Arabian broadcaster STV1 will be showing the BBC version of Dragons' Den in January 2010, followed by a local production in February. It has been broadcasted on 2011, and it's called " Altujar ?"?????" the dragons are : Saleh Kamel, Ahmed Fitihy, Nashwa Altahir, Altaiar, Alhalafy


It was announced in May 2012 that new Slovenian broadcaster Planet TV, owned by Telekom Slovenije, will be showing local version of Dragons' Den in Fall 2012. The title of the Slovenian version will be called "Dober posel" (Good Deal). It will begun to air from November 11, 2012.

The Slovenian Dragons are:

  • Branko Drobnak, Procurator at Alta Skupina d.d., a asset management, non-discretional brokerage services, corporate finance services, accounting and audit services company. He is part of The Business Angels Club of Slovenia and Non-executive Chairman of Acies bio d.o.o, a biotechnology contract research organization.
  • Borut Rismal General Manager, CHS d.o.o., a computer peripherals distribution company
  • Daniela Bervar Country Manager for Slovenia at Cotrugli Business School and co-owner of MEDIA LAB d.o.o. deal of the day business company.
  • Jure Miku? founder of RSG Capital, a venture-capital management company
  • Matja? Kr?, a business angel and Managing Director at Ideus d.o.o., business consulting services for small and mid-sized companies.


The British version was on air in Sweden for several years on TV8 and BBC Prime. A Swedish version called Draknšstet (English: "The Dragons' Nest") was broadcast in 2009 on Sveriges Television. A second season started in March 2010.

The Swedish Dragons 2010 are:

  • Mats Gabrielsson, who sold his IT firm at the height of the late 80s for over $100 million
  • Douglas Roos founder and chairman of nyheter24.se
  • Susanna Falkengren cofounder and member of Exipos Invest
  • Sven HagstrŲmer founder of HQ, Avanza, Investment AB -resund and also in the board for the public companies Bilia, Eworks and Insplanet
  • Richard BŚge, founder of Insplanet IPO in 2006, founder and chairman of Mediaplanet
Previous Dragons 2009:

  • Gunilla von Platen CEO and founder of Xzakt Kundrelation, a telemarketing company located in Sweden
  • Ljubo Mrnjavac sold his fast food company PŲlsemannen 2002. Today active in real estate


The Turkish version of Dragons' Den will be shown on BloombergHT. In 2010 the UK version is shown with Turkish subtitles.


In Ukraine, the series was called ????? ?-????? (Business Sharks) and featured Dragons such as future presidential candidate Serhiy Tihipko.

United Kingdom

See Dragons' Den (UK) for more information In the UK, Dragons' Den is broadcast on BBC Two which has exclusive rights to the show's format from its Japanese producers. The Executive Producer is Dominic Bird and it is hosted by former BBC economics editor Evan Davis. So far in the Den, the 'Dragons' have agreed to invest in 110 companies, with Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis agreeing investments in 29 businesses each since 2005, followed by Deborah Meaden who has invested 21 times since she joined in Series 3 in 2006, followed by Duncan Bannatyne with 17 investments since 2005, and James Caan with 14 since he joined in 2007.

The Dragons are/were:

Seat Series 1 Series 2 Series 3 Series 4 Series 5 Series 6 Series 7 Series 8 Series 9 Series 10
Peter Jones
Doug Richard
Deborah Meaden
Simon Woodroffe
Theo Paphitis
Rachel Elnaugh
Richard Farleigh
James Caan
Hilary Devey
Duncan Bannatyne
The BBC website also has an online Den hosted by Radio 1's Dominic Byrne and featuring two new Dragons: Shaf Rasul and Julie Meyer. Entrepreneurs can pitch for a maximum of £50,000, and as with the television version, must be offered all the money or they walk away with no investment. In contrast to the television version, however, entrepreneurs may apply by submitting a three-minutes 'raw pitch'. BBC Two have commissioned this as 30-minute programs broadcast on Wednesdays from 9:30pm until 10pm.

United States

Main article: Shark Tank (TV series)
In 2008, television producer Mark Burnett signed a deal with format holder Sony to produce an American version of the series. The series on U.S. television is titled Shark Tank.

The U.S. network ABC ordered a pilot episode which was produced by Sony Pictures TV. On 9 October 2008, a casting producer announced that The Shark Tank was accepting applications for a pilot, giving entrepreneurs two weeks to submit their ideas. The pilot was filmed 6"9 January 2009 in Los Angeles.

On September 4, 2012, Shark Tank began its 4th season. The Sharks are:

  • Mark Cuban, owner of the National Basketball Association's Dallas Mavericks and billionaire entrepreneur.
  • Robert Herjavec, who sold his IT security firm at the height of the dot-com bubble for over $100 million
  • Kevin O'Leary, co-host of The Lang and O'Leary Exchange on CBC News Network, formerly president of The Learning Company, which was sold to Mattel for $3.7 billion in 1999
  • Barbara Corcoran, self-made real estate millionaire who sold her company The Corcoran Group for $70 million in 2001
  • Daymond John, founder of FUBU
  • Lori Greiner, President and CEO of For Your Ease Only, as well as host of a monthly show on the QVC Network

Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4
Robert Herjavec
Barbara Corcoran
Kevin O'Leary
Daymond John
Kevin Harrington
Jeff Foxworthy
Lori Greiner

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dragons' Den". Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions this article may contain.

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