Dragon's Den viewers go wild for entrepreneur with equation on t-shirt

Entrepreneur with equation t-shirt baffles Dragon’s Den viewers – but do YOU know what it means?

  • David Hawcock, from Bath, wowed the entrepreneurs on Dragon’s Den last night 
  • The paper engineer pitched his pop-up paper chess set to the dragons on show
  • Read more: Text on chess shows Queen used to be one of the weakest pieces 

Dragon’s Den viewers went wild last night after an entrepreneur appeared in the den wearing a t-shirt an unusual equation branded across it.  

David Hawcock, from Bath, was showing the dragons pop up versions of classic games created from paper on the BBC1 show and was asking for £40,000 for 20 per cent of his company. 

And while the paper engineer impressed four of the dragons – accepting a joint offer from Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis – many of those watching appeared distracted by his t-shirt.

And while some took to Twitter to speculate what the equation, which read: ‘1.d4 d5 2.c4’, could be, others immediately recognised it as the opening of the chess move ‘The Queen’s Gambit.’

Dragon’s Den viewers went wild last night after David Hawcock, from Bath, appeared in the den wearing a t-shirt an unusual equation branded across it

Appearing on the show, David said: ‘I’ve been developing pop up books, puzzles – all kinds of things – for a number of years.

‘I’m bringing in something quite unusual., I think people will be surprised by how well it works.’

He entered the den, saying: ‘I’m David, and I’m the inventor of an entire unique product, the pop up chess set. 

‘The pop up chess set can open or close in any position. The unique design of the board makes it impossible to upset any of the pieces.

Many of those watching the programme were intrigued by the t-shirt, before others revealed it is the opening notation for the chess move The Queen’s Gambit 

‘The unique selling points make it the ideal travel set but it also as it folds flat, one that is easy to store on a bookshelf at home. 

‘It is made entirely from paper and card. No plastic is involved, it is completely recyclable.’

After a brief moment of brain freeze, Deborah prompted David on. 

He continued: ‘I’m seeking £40,000 for 20 per cent equity in my company. I really want to stress that I’m not only going to make a pop up chess set, I’m also going to expand it out into lots of different areas including this particular pop up row of four.

The paper engineer wore the notation for the Queen’s Gambit across his chest – the move gambles a piece to try to gain an advantage on the board 

‘I’d like to adapt lots of classic games for all ages. This is my pitch. You’ll find the pop up chess set in your box. I’d love to take questions.’

What is the Queen’s gambit move? 

The Queen’s Gambit is a move that gambles a piece to try and gain advantage on the board.

It sees a set of moves which sacrifices a pawn to gain control of the center of the play area.

If it is done properly it forces the opponent to spend the early part of the game responding to your threats rather than developing their own.

It is so called because it begins with the queen’s pawn rather than the king’s.

The move is a good one to use to open a game at amateur or competitive levels.

Acknowledging his hesitancy in the pitch, the entrepreneur continued: ‘I feel like I let myself down a bit with that pitch. But that’s nerves.’

Sarah Davies, who has a crafting empire behind her, was keen to kick things off, saying: ‘It’s really impressive. I see a lot of this in my industry but not as this level.’

She said he was one of the best people in the world at the crafting, with Peter Jones saying his product was ‘exceptional.’ 

Deborah Meaden asked him what his existing company was turning over, while  Steven Bartlett questioned how compact the chess set actually was.

He said: ‘This is a cool product but we’re looking for great businesses here.

‘I’m not sure I have a huge amount of confidence that you know how to turn this into a great business.’

But David said he wouldn’t agree, saying: ‘If you’re developing new concepts and pushing them through, that is a business. 

‘I’m personable enough, I can make contacts. I definitely know the field.’ 

Peter Jones said: ‘You said your main business turns over £200,000 a year – but I imagine that changes all the time. Would you consider putting it all into one company?’

David said he agreed, saying he would put the products altogether.

Peter told him: ‘I’m going to make you an offer. All of the money for exactly what you’ve asked for. I’d love you to just accept that now and we can move on.

‘I think I can bring a lot of value to your business and we can grow the whole very very quickly.’

Peter Jones was the first to praise David, and said he could add ‘a lot of value’ and help his company grow very quickly 

Theo Paphitis was among the four dragons who gave the entrepreneur an offer, saying he would match Peter 

Theo Paphitis also gave him an offer, saying he would match Peter. 

Meanwhile Deborah said: ‘Listening to the other dragons, if you get this response here, you’ll get this response in a marketplace. 

‘I’m sitting here thinking, I’d love to be part of this. I will offer you £40,000 for 15 per cent.’

And Sarah told him: ‘I am prepared to offer you all the money for just this part of the business. I will match Deborah.’

However Stephen decided not to invest, saying: ‘I can’t fault you in terms of what you have created. I do think you’re a genius. 

David said he was happy to accept a joint offer for Theo and Peter in order to help him grow his business  

‘The issue I have is trying to have a high degree of conviction as to how this becomes a really great business without me having a do a great amount of work.

‘I’m going to say that I’m out.’

However he went on to back another dragon’s pitch, adding: ‘I will say, I don’t think you should be giving away your profession.

‘I think Sarah’s office is great, I think she’s most qualified.’

The entrepreneur had four offers to digest, with David saying: ‘Would anybody be prepared to share?’

However the dragons shook their heads.

David told them: ‘I’d quite like a transition between all of the businesses, I’d quite like a timetable for that.’

Peter and Theo both matched the offer and said they would work together for 10 per cent each of the business.      

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