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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 2 July, 2020

VIDEO: Jason O'Reilly "over the moon" after Dragons' Den success

O’Reilly’s pitch on last night’s show, about a range of sports-themed coloured watches, literally reduced one Dragon to tears.

Jason O'Reilly wowed the Dragons - reducing one of them to tears - with his range of coloured wristwatches.
Jason O'Reilly wowed the Dragons - reducing one of them to tears - with his range of coloured wristwatches.
Image: Screengrab from RTÉ Player

A DOWN-ON-HIS-LUCK DUBLINER has said he is “over the moon” at his success on Dragon’s Den – after securing investment from two Dragons, and support from all five, for a spur-of-the-moment idea that struck him in Croke Park.

Window-washer Jason O’Reilly did not have enough cash to pay for the petrol for his trip from Cavan, where he lives, to the Dragons’ Den set in Rathfarnham – but left with a €45,000 investment in his company AJ Team Products.

Blacktie owner Niall O’Farrell and computing magnate Sean O’Sullivan both took 15 per cent stakes in his company, which sells watches with silicone straps featuring the colours of prominent sports teams.

The watches cost around €1 each to manufacture, are sold to stores for around €2.70, and are then recommended for retail sale at €7.49. They’re produced in the colours worn by the four Irish rugby provinces, the 32 GAA county teams, and teams in the top four English football leagues.

In a video for the All About Business website, O’Reilly said he had been particularly hopeful to seek investment from IT enterpreneur O’Sullivan – a new addition to the panel, replacing Sean Gallagher – “because one, he’s in America, and two, I’ve never been to America – but America, here I come!”

He had also hoped for investment from Niall O’Farrell, the founder of clothing rental chain Blacktie, because he is “into sports” and could apply his experience to the market for sporting enthusiasts.

All five of the Dragons expressed interest in investing in O’Reilly’s watches, but Norah Casey, Gavin Duffy and Bobby Kerr opted out of investing as they did not want to compete against the joint offering from O’Sullivan and O’Farrell.

Duffy, in particular, was reduced to tears after hearing how a previous investor had pulled out of a deal at the last minute, leaving O’Reilly with masses of stock but not enough cash to distribute it.

“I’m over the moon. It’s been so, so hard,” O’Reilly said.

My wife sold her car, the Prize Bonds went… everything went. We put our life on hold for this. Now here I’m back again. My wife believed in me and I’ve done it. I told yiz I’d do it.

O’Reilly said his success was particular unexpected because the two pitches filmed before his had also been successful – and he did not think the Dragons would invest in three consecutive offerings.

(YouTube credit: )

In full: Watch O’Reilly’s pitch on Dragons’ Den (begins at 39m)

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Gavan Reilly

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