Teenage duo emerge from Dragons' Den with big deal
Two teenage entrepreneurs are singing to the tune of £50,000 after successfully bagging a deal on Dragons' Den.
Ryan Ashmore and Liam Webb, both 18, appeared on last night's BBC2 show hoping to secure a deal to expand their business – RKA Records.
The Hinckley pair, who started the business in October 2010, faced a number of frank comments from Dragon Duncan Bannatyne before he offered to invest the cash for a 79 per cent stake in the company.
The health club mogul said: "I saw something in Ryan and Liam that caught my imagination, which encouraged me to make them the offer.
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"For the past year they have been serving an entrepreneurs' apprenticeship, learning about how to run a business and break into a tough industry.
"Now, with my investment and hands-on involvement, we can really take the business forward and achieve Ryan and Liam's ambitions."
Last year, entrepreneur Ryan, who ran a mobile disco from the age of 12, was keen to start his own label and brought former business student Liam on board.
The company, which was founded in Ryan's bedroom, has a number of artists on its books, including R&B dance acts MarQ Figuli and Chris Parham.
The performers, who are both based in Germany, were discovered on the social networking site ReverbNation – a website aimed at promoting musicians.
Ryan and Liam said they also hope to sign a "well-known boy band" in the next few months.
Ryan, who lives in Wolvey, said: "I didn't even tell Liam I'd applied to go on the show and he only found out when the producers called us to say we'd got an audition.
"We had the rehearsal first and that was fine – it was exactly like the show, but without the nerves.
"When we were finally up in front of the Dragons I kept thinking 'why am I here?', it was really intense.
"I was really relieved when it became clear Duncan was going to back us."
Ryan says he thinks the business has an exciting future ahead.
"It's really taken off quickly and getting the investment from Duncan was fantastic – and very unexpected," he said.
"We've got two great artists at the moment and we hope to add a very well-known boy band soon, although I can't say too much at this moment."
Liam, of Aston Flamville, is confident that unauthorised internet sites will not affect music sales.
He said: "We are determined to make a success of it and, with Duncan's support, we are in an excellent position."