Young Irish entrepreneur Alex Whelan from County Cork answered a few questions for B*Different on behalf of Focail Iontacha on what appearing on Junior Dragons Den with the board game Focail Iontachahas done for the business.
How was your business doing before appearing on Junior Dragons Den?
Before appearing on JDD our business was only in the early developing stages as we specifically made the business and product for the purpose of entering the competition. Before the show we focused mainly on the creation of the game and the physical product aspect of the business as our aim was to have it ready to present to the dragons.
How has the show helped you?
The show has helped us by providing us with some urgently needed start-up cash and has also acted as a vital source of advertising for our company as many of our customers know us from Dragons’ Den and related events. This has been our primary source of advertisement as we are running on a low budget and so has been essential for us!
What have you done since the show?
Since the show we have had the game produced and it has gone to market. Our sales are doing well considering our limited marketing and advertisement to date and we have managed to get our game into a popular retailer for school books in Cork City with no mark up. This is a great opportunity for our game as it maximizes potential for profit and makes distribution easier! We have been busy giving demonstrations to schools in our area as well as making influential contacts in Gaeltacht regions. We are continuously looking for new funding ideas and searching for grants to help us with our new business and relieve some of the financial burden!
What are your plans for the next year?
We plan to re release the game in August/September when the school year is to begin again as this will be prime time to sell to schools and parents who are in search of Irish resources. We hope that our game can feature on The Late Late Toy Show as this would be brilliant advertising for the Christmas market, which will be very busy for us with educational toys back in vogue. We are planning to do a press launch sometime during the summer and we hope to get some celebrity endorsement as we travel around the county to various summer shows and festivals with the game! Over all we hope to reach our target sales of 1000 units so that we can go ahead with the next phase of Focail Iontacha!