Dragons' Den's youngest entrepreneur strikes it big

Jordan Daykin started at 13, and pitched at 18, now at 20 he's worth millions

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Jordan Daykin

Jordan Daykin's business career started with an extraordinary invention, borne of necessity, at the age of just 13. He defied the odds to make a success of his invention, pitching to The Dragon's Den at the age of 18, and becoming the youngest person ever to get funding on the show. Now, at just 20, his business is worth £10 million.

At the age of 13, things weren't going brilliantly for Daykin. He had been mercilessly bullied at school, and decided to leave in order to be tutored at home. At the same time, his father moved to Sierre Leone for work, and as he didn't live with his mother, he persuaded his grandparents to let him move in. They converted half their garage into a bedroom for him, and they needed to hang a blackout blind. That's when things started to improve.

The invention

After breaking four drill bits, and hunting the DIY stores in vain, Daykin and his Grandad Stan pottered around in the garden shed, trying to devise an easier way to hang the blind. They came up with a prototype for a universal plasterboard fitting.

Daykin applied for the patent for the design of what became known as GripIt, and before approaching the Dragons, he started stocking a number of household names. Around that time, he gave up with his tutors, and to this day still has no formal qualifications.

He only decided to go on the show because he wanted to expand - with new machinery, stock increases and a new warehouse. After pitching, he secured £80,000 from Deborah Meaden, and was able to scale up the business.

He sells his invention to 2,000 stores in the UK and has exported to 32 different countries. Meaden has invested more than £500,000 more, and the business itself is worth £10 million.

In a documentary, to be broadcast on Sunday (covering some of the highs and lows of the programme) Daykin's grandfather learns how much his grandson is worth, and responds: "It's going to the right guy".

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