Local Boginabag founder hits Dragons' Den

A Winchester entrepreneur is celebrating after her unique invention received a huge boost after appearing on BBC programme Dragons' Den.

Kate Castle invented the Boginabag as a solution to an age-old problem, as it is a portable, foldaway seat which doubles as a toilet.

Launched in May 2010, it had already proved popular with campers and festival-goers, but Kate's appearance on the hit Sunday evening show really took her business to the next level.

Kate said: "Having negotiated the tricky path of product design, patents and manufacturing, and seen a steady growth in sales, I was really confident in the product but just needed that extra investment and assistance to take my business to the next level. The Den was the perfect opportunity."

It may not be the most glamorous product of all but BoginaBag certainly caused a storm in the Den, sparking a bidding war between the Dragons and a first-of-its-kind scenario for the show.

Having impressed the Dragons with her presentation, and been grilled closely on her figures, Kate received offers from both Deborah Meaden and Hilary Devey. However, while most entrepreneurs would have been delighted with these offers, Kate had her heart set on securing the investment of one particular Dragon.

Kate continued: "I'd done my research before going into the Den and had decided that Theo Paphitis would be the best match for my business. It was really nerve-racking but I was so determined to get his backing that I embarked on a serious charm offensive."

It was a risky strategy that saw Deborah Meaden take offense and withdraw her offer. At one point it looked like Kate's investments dreams might slip away but luckily for her Theo saw the potential in both Kate and her product.

Theo said: "Dragons do not invest money simply because they are charmed by an entrepreneur. I saw a fantastic opportunity not only with BoginaBag but with Kate's ability to drive the business forward."

Local MP Steve Brine, who wrote to Kate to congratulate her on her achievements so far, said: "I am really delighted that Kate has done so well, and secured such an investment. The Boginabag really is such a fantastic idea, and it just goes to show once again what a range of pure talent and determination we have here in Winchester.

"I'm sure Kate's business will now go from strength to strength and wish her all the very best as she continues to take Boginabag onwards and upwards."

Kate has spent the summer touring the festivals where BoginaBag has gone down a treat. Sales have rocketed to over 10,000 items and with Theo's investment Kate now has plans to triple turnover in the next year.

Kate added: "Theo's involvement has enabled me to really focus on where we want to be and how we get there. I am now facing opportunities that I never dreamed possible."

Pictured; Kate Castle and her Boginabag

More information...

Visit Kate's website at www.boginabag.com.