"Shay has grown up wanting to emulate the Dragons"
At the age of 15, Shay Sharma made history by becoming the youngest entrepreneur to win an investment on Dragons’ Den.
The schoolboy was accompanied by his father Raj and pitched a football board game which caught the eye of Peter Jones.
Shay began: “Hello Dragons.
“I am the founder of Football Billionaire and we’re here today seeking an investment of £50,000 in return of 5% equity of our company.”
Deborah Meaden said: “Well wow, just wow.
“Fifteen years old and standing in one of the hottest business places in the world and delivering a pitch like that, you must be immensely proud.”
When she asked how he designed the game, Chelsea fan Shay said his love for football and board games inspired his invention.
The young entrepreneur later explained that his board game is a trading game in which players move around the board “collecting a goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders and forwards”.
Shay added that they have sold approximately 65,000 games.
Speaking about his son, Raj said:
“Shay has grown up wanting to emulate the Dragons, maybe be a dragon one day himself.”
When it came to crunch time, Shay had to leave the room due to BBC guidelines stating that he is too young to undergo a grilling from the Dragons.
Dragon Sara Davies said: “Shay, the rules of the BBC say you can’t stay here and take this grilling at this age, so we are going to have to grill your dad but let’s hope he does you proud.”
Raj answered questions from all the Dragons including Touker Suleyman who asked why Raj was not funding the board game himself, despite being a successful business owner.
Raj said his son did not want to use his father’s money and instead wanted to run the business independently.
“Shay said: ‘look dad I don’t want your money, I want to go to the Dragons’.”
Peter Jones was impressed by Shay’s pitch but admitted that it is “difficult” to sell board games.
Nevertheless, Peter decided to make an offer of £50,000 for 20% of the business.
Shay had wanted Steven Bartlett onboard, however, the Diary of A CEO founder pulled out.
Touker Suleyman was also keen to share a stake in Shay’s business.
But Raj accepted Peter’s offer on Shay’s behalf, making the 15-year-old the youngest investment winner on Dragons’ Den.
After Raj left the den, Peter told the other Dragons that the young entrepreneur had won him over just seconds into his pitch.
The long-serving Dragon said he made his decision to invest after “the first two or three sentences (of the pitch), he was just off the chart”.