An entrepreneur has defied a sceptical Dragons' Den to sign a distribution deal with Marks & Spencer (Dusseldorf: MA6.DU - news) for his collapsible water bottle, two years after the idea was dismissed by the BBC's five Dragons.
Guy Jeremiah originally presented his idea for a collapsible water bottle to five business tycoons, including Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis, on the BBC programme Dragons' Den, two years ago. All the Dragons dismissed the idea, with Mr Paphitis telling the entrepreneur it was one those "I'd really want to stick pins in my eyes" moments.
But Mr Jeremiah has defied the Dragons' scepticism to pursue his idea of the collapsible bottle, which is marketed as a cheap and environmentally friendly alternative to buying bottled water. He has sold 100,000 bottles and signed a distribution deal with Marks & Spencer. The chain is selling the bottle, called Aquatina, near checkouts and in its takeaway food sections, according to the Daily Mail (LSE: DMGT.L - news) .
The Aquatina is also on sale in 15 other countries including Germany, Australia and Spain. Its (Euronext: ALITS.NX - news) concertina design means that when compressed, the bottle is a third of its original size and small enough to be carried in a handbag or pocket.
Lesley Saunders, M&S (LSE: MKS.L - news) ' 'food on the move' expert, said the product was "perfect for the summer months when you’re on the go and need a bottle of water to hand without the hassle of having to carry something heavy around".
"It’s a real vote of confidence that M&S spotted the environmental and commercial benefits of collapsabottles. To have Aquatina collapsible bottles available nationwide, and internationally, means we’re now in that luxurious position of being able to cast the Dragons aside, and not vice versa," said Mr Jeremiah.