Source: Brighton Argos, Tuesday 24th February 2009
By Ruth Lumley and Michael Wilkins
They may have failed to survive the fiery wrath of the Dragons’ Den but a group of entrepreneurs look set for success.
Joe Gill and Ian McGill hoped to secure investment for their board game About Time when they appeared on the BBC2 programme in December 2007, but came away empty handed when the dragons told them ’we’re out’.
But the Brighton duo did not give up and have secured a high profile deal for their board game, which they devised with their friend Matt Gould, 37, and designer Michele Rosaus, 41.
About Time, a game of luck and skill based around guessing years, will be developed into special editions, using content and headlines from national newspapers.
Mr McGill, 43, from Fiveways, has also secured a deal in New York with Barnes and Noble, the biggest book and games retailer in the States. They will exclusively distribute the game throughout the USA over Christmas this year.
Co-inventor Mr Gill, from Hanover, said: "It’s surreal. Every day seems to bring something new but now we’re jumping up and down with excitement.
“Last year was scary but we sold 4,000 games. This year it looks like we’re going to beat that figure by the end of February.”
Speaking of the moment the pair met the dragons – James Caan, Duncan Bannatyne, Deborah Meaden, Theo Paphitis and Peter Jones, Mr Gill, 40, said: "Dragons Den was a fantastic launch pad. An adrenaline rush day of madness and just like on TV. What you see is true except it goes on much longer.
“The dragons are aggressive but serious about finding out about your offer.”
After being stocked and sold in Harrods, Borders, John Lewis and other national retailers, the game has sold out.
Mr Gill said: "We survived a very difficult winter and sold out in all of our major retailers.
“The financial crisis is creating panic but consumers are still buying.”