Entrepeneur takes on Dragons’ stars

Programme Name: Dragons' Den - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 3) - Embargoed for publication until: 20/08/2013 - Picture Shows: Linkee business owners, in the Den.  - (C) BBC - Photographer: screengrab
Programme Name: Dragons' Den - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 3) - Embargoed for publication until: 20/08/2013 - Picture Shows: Linkee business owners, in the Den. - (C) BBC - Photographer: screengrab

A Wetherby entrepreneur who invented a family trivia game and appeared on hit TV show Dragons’ Den has turned down investment from the famous four.

On Sunday, Dean Tempest, 26, along with two of his work colleagues Tristan Hyatt Williams, 42, and Ben Drummond, 40, were given the chance of £50,000 investment by Dragons’ star Duncan Bannatyne but the trio walked away without taking the offers.

The family trivia game - called Linkee - requires no special equipment, and the aim is not to get the right answer, but to link up what the answers have in common.

Over a third of the questions are written by people who have actually played the game.

Since filming in March, the game has attracted numerous nationwide stockists including John Lewis, Hamleys, Beales, Lakeland and Firebox.com - and the trio are hoping it will be a top seller this Christmas.

Dean, who grew up in Wetherby but now lives in London, said: “We like to think of Linkee as the ‘black sheep’ of quiz games.

“So in a way it’s not surprising that we walked away from the Dragons’ Den emptyhanded – by choice.

“Duncan’s offer was generous but we weren’t prepared to hand over so much of our business in return for his help.

“As it happens, even though none of us is from the toy industry, we’re managing to make Linkee a massive success without the backing of a Dragon.”

Talking about the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to appear on the hit TV show, Dean said: “Lots of people had already suggested we try Dragons’ Den but it was only when we met some of the programme’s researchers at a trade show and they suggested we audition that we decided we’d go for it.

“We all really enjoyed meeting all the other entrepreneurs who were due to pitch that day and we spent ages going through our own over and over again.

“But all I can really remember when the lift doors opened was that the Dragons were a lot closer than they look on TV - and the rest is a bit of a blur.”

The game was launched in September 2012.