Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland inventor defiant after Dragons rubbish baby luggage idea

Jacqueline McKay (26) pitched her invention to business moguls on Dragons’ Den this week ... and received a mauling.

Jacqueline’s pitch to millionaires Duncan Bannatyne, Theo Paphitis, Deborah Meaden, James Caan and Peter Jones was aired by the BBC on Monday. She had hoped to leave the Den with £150,000 investment to start production of her Angelcot — a suitcase combined with a cot and baby changing station.

Unfortunately the multi-millionaire dragons didn’t bite at the single mother-of-two’s invention, with famously volatile businessman Bannatyne branded the idea, “horrendous”.

But the low point of her pitch was her Angelcot song which left the dragons bemused.

Despite this the Sion Mills woman had no regrets about appearing on the show. “The experience was amazing. I had a chat with the rest of the entrepreneurs,” she said. “Everyone was nervous - we didn’t know what to expect. There was a big difference between my audition pitch and my actual pitch. I was in awe on the day, a bit like a stunned rabbit.

“I spent an hour in total with them, but this was edited down to what was shown. At the end of the day, it’s a TV show.

“It’s about entertainment and I didn’t crumble when they gave me bad comments. I have the utmost respect for them all and they are entitled to their opinion as they have a lot of insight in the business world. I took on board what they said and I am making amendments.”

She continued: “My feelings were a bit hurt. I felt like crying but didn't because I believe in my product.

“I wouldn’t have been brought over unless my idea displayed potential. On reflection I believe Angelcot was at too early a stage to pitch.”

As part of her pitch Jacqueline sang a song she penned called the Angelcot song. “I felt a bit inferior as these people are so powerful. I am a musician at heart and always sing to calm my nerves. Obviously under the pressure it didn’t have the desired affect.”

Jacqueline is studying for an access diploma at North West Regional College and hopes to go to university when her children are older. She was inspired her to create the Angelcot after her second son was born.

“I should have been out a lot more than I was, but it was so much hassle getting all the bags and equipment together that I needed. I realised that things could be done better and went to the drawing board, in fact the kitchen table. I really believe Angelcot will enhance lives of future generations.

“I was over in London yesterday at the Baby Products Association, concept and innovation awards. That experience has restored my confidence and I find out shortly how that went. I believe my product will help many people and I am still looking for advice and investment, so if anyone out there can help me, get in touch.”

She added: “I was honoured to be invited on and I gained so much from it in a business sense and personally. I would say go for it. Come up with ideas and don’t shy away.”

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