I was laughed off Dragons’ Den – but now my product makes millions

HandiScoop on Dragons Den

John Nicholls ventured into the Dragons’ Den with his invention, the HandiScoop, aiming to secure a bright future for what he believed to be “the world’s best poop-scoop.” However, the outcome was far from what he had hoped.


The entrepreneur from Herefordshire, encountered what he describes as an “unfair grilling” by the show’s business moguls, leaving the pitch feeling “humiliated”.

His 2017 quest for a £45,000 investment for a 15% share in his company turned into a tough ordeal, especially with Dragon Peter Jones, whom John found particularly challenging.

The journey to the Den was inspired by positive feedback at trade shows and the encouragement John received to showcase his dog-muck scoop, even featuring on This Morning.

HandiScoop on Dragons Den

However, the intense scrutiny and questioning by the Dragons made the pitch far more daunting than anticipated.

He thought he had addressed the Dragons’ concerns until Peter Jones bluntly criticized his approach. Fashion mogul Touker Suleyman added, “The product’s right but you’re uninvestable.”


Reflecting on his experience, John felt outnumbered and undermined in the Den.

“When you are in there, the Dragons hunt like a pack – there are five of them versus one of you,” he told The Sun.

He believes the episode’s edit missed out on showcasing the positive aspects of his pitch, focusing instead on moments that portrayed him negatively.

Despite the setback in the Den, John’s entrepreneurial journey with HandiScoop has been successful.

Launched in 2010, the device is designed for efficient and hygienic pet waste cleanup, reducing plastic pollution and aiding those with mobility issues.


John’s determination post-Dragons’ Den has led to remarkable business achievements, including a significant partnership with Pets At Home.


With £1.5 million in sales since its inception, HandiScoop’s success story is a testament to John’s resilience and belief in his product.

“If anything it makes you so much more determined to succeed and to prove them wrong,” John stated, reflecting on his journey from despair in the Den to entrepreneurial success.

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