Dragons' Den's youngest entrepreneur strikes it big

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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Dragons' Den's youngest entrepreneur strikes it big

For those days when you can’t beat a game of ping pong but can’t be bothered to bring the table down from the loft, why not try the ping pong door from Tobias Fräenzel?

It’s a fully-functioning door, but when you need a spot of pinging and ponging you can flip it down to form a table.  Houzz.com has it on offer for 990 euros. Just don't ask how people get through the doorway while you're playing.

Some people think that babies are nothing but hard work, and that you spend your life clearing up after them. But those people haven’t discovered the baby mop - a baby-gro with cleaning pads attached, so your loved one can clean as he or she crawls. It’s never to early to have them do their bit around the house. The baby-gro is on sale at Firebox.com for £29.99

Strolling around with a baby in a buggy is all very well and good, but what if you're tired of strolling, or you're in a hurry?

If you need to speed things up then inventor Valentin Vodev has the answer, with the scooter/buggy hybrid. So far the prototype is not on the market, but surely it can only be a matter of time.

Just think of all those hours you wasted making paper planes by folding them. Now you can cut the process down to less than a second with this paper plane gun, which makes the planes inside and fires them for you.

The gun itself was made with the genius of one man and the aid of a 3D printer, and it’s going to change the world of paper planes forever - once it gets beyond the prototype stage.

It's one of life's great questions. How can you carry an umbrella and a cup of coffee - and still be able to open doors?

Step forward the umbrella cup holder from Korea, with a nifty cup holder in the handle of the brolly that will leave your other hand spare for the other great challenges in life.

Eating lunch at your desk is never a delight. However, when you’ve packed a salad or soup and no cutlery it can make the whole process into a lunchtime nightmare.

Fortunately some clever soul has invented the ink pen cap eating utensils. Just keep them in your drawer, attach the knife, fork or spoon head to your pen, and you have a brilliant eating utensil.

Just don't ask why you can't just keep plastic cutlery in your drawer instead.

For anyone who has ever wondered where their pet goes all day - or whose animal has a habit of wandering off - fear not because now you can track it.

The G-Paws GSP tracker fits on their collar so that no matter where they roam, you can easy track them down. Firebox.com also points out it’s handy for tracking a trail of destruction, or for keeping tabs on your dog walker too.

Are you sick of your packed lunch going missing from the office fridge? Well those horrors could soon be a thing of the past with the theft deterrent sandwich bags.

For just $4.99 you can get a plastic sandwich bag with fake mould printed onto it. Those green splodges will mean that no matter how light-fingered your colleagues are, they’ll keep their hands off your lunch.

You might have thought that dogs are capable of getting wet and just shaking it off, but if you're worried that your pampered pooch is suffering, you can invest in a dog umbrella.

These are held by the owner, with an upside-down shade to hold over your dog in inclement weather. These bargains are available for $8.99 on Amazon.com.

Have you ever wondered who these people are with the time and patience to make their own sushi? Well now you can be one of them - but without the time and patience - because the sushi bazooka will make it for you.

Just load the gun with the rice and top with your filling, then seal it and squeeze. The sushi gun will then fire out a perfectly formed sushi roll. Your eating habits will be transformed for just £19.99 from Firebox.com


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