BBC Dragons’ Den star ‘welled up’ moments before pitch as they turn down major investment: ‘Full on!’

BBC Dragons’ Den star ‘welled up’ moments before pitch as they turn down major investment: ‘Full on!’

BBC Dragons’ Den star admitted she wished she was more confident during her pitch

GB News
Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 17/04/2024

- 19:11

The former BBC star is the founder and CEO of Creative Nature Superfoods and starred on the show in 2017

Julianne Ponan admitted that she “welled up” during her pitch to the Dragons’ Den investors before she decided to turn down a major investment from one of the Dragons.

When she entered the den, Ponan asked for an investment of £75,000 in exchange for five per cent of the business, to help scale up.

During the pitch, Meaden initially offered the £75,000 investment but for 25 per cent of the company – something that Ponan was reluctant to agree on.

However, after some negotiations, the pair finally shook hands after Meaden explained that she would sell back five per cent of the business once they made a sizeable profit.

After leaving the Den and discussing the deal with her business partner, Ponan later decided that she no longer wanted the investment from Meaden and pulled out of the deal.

Ponan recently sat down with GB News to speak about her time on the show and admitted that if she could go back and do anything differently, it would have been to be more confident in her product.

Deborah Meaden

Julianne received a near on perfect investment from Deborah Meaden


She explained: “I think I would have been more confident, that was a big thing and I felt very very nervous and you would have seen from my pitch that I was very nervous, very worried.

“I was welling up a little bit. I just didn’t expect it to be so full on at the time but it was the first time that I was doing anything like that.

“So it was an obvious thing but that is the only thing that I would change is to be more confident as an entrepreneur, that I have a really good brand, product and need.”

Touching on why she decided to eventually turn down Meaden’s investment, Ponan added: “I thought of the fact that because I didn’t have the purchase orders yet from the supermarkets.

Julianne Ponan and Deboarah Meaden

Julianne later decided that she no longer needed the investment from Deborah


“So they didn’t know that definitely that we were launching but a week later we got the PO’s and it does change the business.

“So that changed the valuation and what Deborah was asking for, 20% is a lot higher and I just felt like that wasn’t the right decision for the business at the time.”

She explained that Meaden was “amazing” when she explained she would no longer need the investment from her and noted that she “completely understood.”

“She thought I was a good entrepreneur and nice to get that recognition as well so I think that was great.”

Julianne Ponan

Julianne explained that she welled up during her pitch


Without Meaden’s investment, Ponan successfully launched her company and has products being sold in supermarkets across the country.

In 2020, she was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30s and went on to be awarded with an MBE for her service to business, exports, and people with allergies.

You may like