Young Harrison wins £60k from two BBC ‘dragons’
9:14am Tuesday 2nd October 2012 in Local
A YOUNG entrepreneur from Bolton successfully secured a £60,000 investment from two of the toughest men in business.
The first thing Harrison Woods did when he left the BBC’s Dragons’ Den — with a smile on his face and the backing of Theo Paphitis and Peter Jones — was call his parents with the good news.
Despite a shaky start, Mr Woods, aged 22, from Harwood, managed a confident end to his pitch.
His business, Primal Parking, is an online marketplace for the finding and letting of private parking spaces across the UK.
Bolton “dragon” Hilary Devey was not impressed enough to invest in Mr Woods’ business, claiming that if he had brought his web designer with him it could have made a big difference.
However, Mr Paphitis told the enthusiastic Manchester University geography student he wanted to be a part of his success.
He said: “I feel at some stage if you carry on with that tenacity you will achieve.”
Asked how he felt after being pledged £60,000 for a 40 per cent stake in his business, Mr Woods told presenter Evan Davis “I want to tell my mum and dad first”.
While he was a pupil aged 12 at Bury Grammar School, Mr Woods was importing golf clubs and selling them to Breightmet Golf Club.
It was when studying at university that he came up with the idea of the Parking Guardian — a barrier that can be erected to protect a parking space — and then moved on to Primal Parking with the help of business partner Jonathan Cherrie, whom he met through a networking event.
Mr Cherrie, aged 39, who runs JDC Communications Ltd, designed the Primal Parking website and supplied an office for the business.
“Getting the deal on Dragons’ Den was a big thing for us. We are expecting the business to grow and more parking spaces to become available all over the country, and particularly here in Bolton,” said Mr Cherrie, who lives in Egerton.
The business has offices in Bath Street, Bolton but is mainly web-based.
Anyone can rent out their parking space. It could be a driveway near to a train station or an apartment parking space not being used. Spaces can be made available all year round or for special events such as football matches or concerts.
Mr Woods said: “It is a way for people to make money by renting out their parking space but the good thing is that money being made is usually going back into the community when they spend it.”
Mr Woods, is soon to move out of the home he shares with his parents John, aged 62, and Linda, aged 52. He has an older brother, 28-year-old Spencer.
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