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Dragons' Den is a series of reality television programmes featuring entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas in order to secure investment finance from a panel of venture capitalists. The show originated in Japan as "マネーの虎" (Tiger of Money, a pun on "Tiger of Malaya", the nickname of WWII general Tomoyuki Yamashita). The format is owned by Sony Pictures Television.
The contestants are usually product designers or service operators who have what they consider to be a viable and potentially very profitable business idea, but who lack funding and direction. They pitch their idea to five rich entrepreneurial businesspeople, the eponymous "dragons" (or "tigers" in the original Japanese show, "sharks" in the U.S. and Israeli versions and "lions" in Finland and Romania). Before the show, the contestants have named a specific amount of money that they wish to get (along with a percentage in the business that the contestant is offering to sell to the investors), and the rules stipulate that if they do not raise at least this amount from the dragons, they get nothing. In return, the contestant gives the dragons a percentage of the company's stock, which is the chief point of negotiation. The program does not show the entire pitch as scenes are selected and edited from the episode due to time constraints.
The dragons probe the idea further once the contestant has made the presentation. This will either reveal a sound business proposition that the investor may become interested in investing capital in return for equity, or an embarrassing lack of preparation on the part of the contestant (such as the contestant's lack of knowledge of the business' profits or margins), the uncovering of troubling facts (such as insufficient sales or manufacturing margins) or other reasons which may play a factor in the investors consequently rejecting the investment (such as the investor asking for a larger equity stake in the business than the contestant wants to give up, the contestant's valuation on the business being too high compared to its overall profits, the product not having any proprietary value or the investor's belief that they cannot add value to the business). A contestant may give a counteroffer to the investors, if they feel their offer is not sufficient compared to the contestant's initial offer, which may also be subject to rejection if the investor feels the contestant asking for too high a monetary amount and/or an insufficiently low equity than the investor's previous offer.
Dragons' Den series have been produced in numerous different countries. Apart from Japan (where the show debuted) the show names, structures, and styles are based upon the UK version.
In Afghanistan, the show is called Fikr wa Talash. The show was produced by the Moby Group's strategic communications arm, Lapis Ltd, and aired on the Group's most popular channel in Afghanistan, TOLO TV, reaching an estimated 7 million viewers in 2010.
In the Arab world, Dragons' Den was known as Dragons' Den: Al Aareen العرين (The Den). It was broadcast on the Lebanese channel Future Television and was hosted by Ibrahim Abu Jawdeh. The show received contestants from various Arab countries.
The panel of Dragons for the 2007 series consisted of:
The Australian version of Dragons' Den was broadcast on the Seven Network and hosted by Andrew O'Keefe. Different from other versions, the host ran through the outline of the business with the contestant then negotiating with the Dragons for a deal. It was produced by Michael Horrock. The Australian Dragons were:
In 2014 it was rumoured that Network Ten were attempting a local edition of the program for the 2015 TV year. This was later confirmed by the network and the show will adopt the American "Shark Tank" name. The Sharks for this edition are Janine Allis (founder of Boost Juice), Andrew Banks (founder of Talent2), Steve Baxter (entrepreneur, investor, internet pioneer), John McGrath (founder of McGrath Estate Agents) and Naomi Simson (founder of RedBalloon). The show will be hosted by Sarah Harris.
The Austrian version is called 2 Minuten 2 Millionen, which means 2 Minutes 2 Million. It debuted on Puls 4.
The Canadian Dragons are/were:
|Seat||Season 1||Season 2||Season 3||Season 4||Season 5||Season 6||Season 7||Season 8||Season 9|
|2||Kevin O'Leary||Michael Wekerle|
|3||Jennifer Wood||Arlene Dickinson|
|4||Laurence Lewin||W. Brett Wilson||Bruce Croxon||Vikram Vij|
|5||Robert Herjavec||David Chilton|
The Dragons were:
The Croatian version of Dragons' Den called Zmajevo gnijezdo was scheduled to be broadcast in May 2007 on Croatian Radiotelevision and produced by Ocean Film, a local production company.
Contracted Croatian Dragons were:
A few shows were filmed but never broadcast for undisclosed reasons.
In the Czech Republic, the show is called Den D (The D-Day).
The show is hosted by radio host Jan Pokorny, and the dragon investors are:
The Dragons are/were:
|Seat||Series 1||Series 2||Series 3||Series 4|
|1||Ivan Pilný||Michael Rostock|
|2||Ondřej Bartoš||Ivan Pilný||Margareta Křížová|
|3||Dana Bérová||Petra Rychnovská|
|4||Marta Nováková||John Vanhara|
|5||Tomio Okamura||Michal Hanus|
In Finland Dragons' Den was first named Leijonan kita, which means the jaws or the mouth of a lion. The show began running in Finland on 27 September 2007 on MTV3 channel. It was hosted by Anna Sorainen. The local Dragons, or Leijonat (lions), were: Kyösti Kakkonen, Eero Lehti, Toivo Sukari, Lisa Sounio and Kaija Ward.
Subsequent seasons were not produced, but in February 2013 the show re-emerged on the Nelonen channel, this time named Leijonan luola (Lion's Den), with a new set of investors and hosted by Kirsi Salo. The new lions were Riku Asikainen, Jorma Terentjeff, Ari Lahti, Anne Berner and Oskari Lehtonen.
A second season is scheduled for 2015.
The Irish Dragons are/were:
|Seat Order |
(Right to Left)
|Season 1||Season 2||Season 3||Season 4||Season 5||Season 6|
|1||Niall O'Farrell||Peter Casey|
|2||Bobby Kerr||Ramona Nicholas||Eamonn Quinn|
|3||Sarah Newman||Norah Casey||Sean O'Sullivan||Sean O'Sullivan||Ramona Nicholas|
|4||Gavin Duffy||Barry O'Sullivan|
|5||Seán Gallagher||Norah Casey||Barry O'Sullivan||Gavin Duffy|
The first episode was broadcast on 19 February 2009.
A third season of Dragons' Den began airing on RTÉ One, on Thursday, 20 February 2011. Norah Casey was the new Dragon for the third season. Episodes at the end of the third season, for the first time on Dragons' Den in Ireland, showed the Dragons on tour visiting their past investments.
Dragon Seán Gallagher stood for President of Ireland in 2011 but came second behind poet and intellectual Michael D. Higgins after a controversy erupted over a €5,000 cheque he had received in an envelope.
For the fourth series of Dragons' Den, a live, interactive "Sixth Dragon Game" was developed to be played whilst watching the show, in which viewers are able to decide in real time if they're IN or OUT as the pitches unfold. The "Sixth Dragon Game" is the first live, interactive game for a TV show in Ireland.
In Israel, Dragons' Den is entitled Hakrishim, which is Hebrew for "The Sharks". It is produced by Gil Productions and is broadcast on Channel 10. It is hosted by Guy Zohar. In the Israeli version, there are six dragons who rotate their appearance weekly. The first season was broadcast during the summer and fall of 2006. The dragons in season 1 were: Ze'ev Holtzman, Israela Shtier, Aviv Tzidon, Oded Dessau, Jacky Ben-Zaken, and Nir Sharatzki. The second season began being broadcast on Channel 10 on 24 May 2007. As in the first season, the dragons rotate their appearance weekly. Aviv Tzidon and Jacky Ben-Zaken returned from the first season and were joined by the following new dragons:
Titled "マネーの虎 Manê no Tora" (Money Tigers), this is the original version. It was created by and broadcast on Nippon Television from 2001 to 2004. It was the first entertainment programme in the history of Japanese television that dealt with the concept of business investment. During its three-year run, as many as 16 business executives appeared in the programme as Tigers.
In the Netherlands the show was broadcast in May 2007 on Nederland 3, every Friday at 20:25 (+1 GMT). The second and last season was broadcast in May 2008 on Nederland 3, every Monday at 21.25 (+1 GMT). As in the first season, it was hosted by Jort Kelder.
The dragons were:
Initially, the UK and Australian series of Dragons' Den were broadcast in New Zealand before a local version was produced by Eyeworks Television. It broadcast on TV One in 2006 and was hosted by Rawdon Christie. The dragons were:
Nigeria's adaptation of Dragons' Den was broadcast weekly in 2008 on the AIT Network and produced by Storm Vision.
The Nigerian Dragons were:
A second series is now being commissioned. As of 2014 there have been no updates.
In Poland, the program is called "Dragons Den - How to Be a Millionaire" and is broadcast on the station TV4 since 2011. The biggest win in the program happened April 24, 2011 in the amount 15,000,000 PLN (5,500,000 U.S. dollars) 
The Polish Dragons in 2011 are:
In 2015 the Portuguese version of Dragons' Den, with the American name "Shark Tank", will be broadcast on the SIC Network. The Portuguese Sharks are:
The show will be recorded in December and in January.
There is a Romanian version of the format called Arena Leilor (Lions Arena). The Romanian Lions are:
The show started in 2007.
There was a Russian version of the show called KAPITAL.
It was announced in December 2009 that Saudi Arabian broadcaster STV1 will be showing the BBC version of Dragons' Den in January 2010, followed by a local production in February. It has been broadcast on 2011, and it's called "التجار" or "Traders." The dragons are: Saleh Kamel, Ahmed Fitihy, Nashwa Altahir, Altaiar, Alhalafy
It was announced in May 2012 that new Slovenian broadcaster Planet TV, owned by Telekom Slovenije, will be showing a local version of Dragons' Den in Fall 2012. The title of the Slovenian version will be called "Dober posel" (Good Deal). It will begun to air from November 11, 2012.
The Slovenian Dragons are:
The title of the Spanish version is "Tu Oportunidad" (Your Opportunity) and went to air on October 30, 2013 by TVE.
The British version was on air in Sweden for several years on TV8 and BBC Prime. A Swedish version called Draknästet (English: "The Dragons' Nest") was broadcast in 2009 on Sveriges Television. A second season started in March 2010.
The Swedish Dragons 2010 are:
Previous Dragons 2009:
The Turkish version of Dragons' Den is on BloombergHT. Baybars Altuntaş is one of the dragons of the Dragons' Den in Turkey.
In Ukraine, the series was called Акули бізнесу (Business Sharks) and featured Dragons such as future presidential candidate Serhiy Tihipko.
In the UK, Dragons' Den is broadcast on BBC Two which has exclusive rights to the show's format from its Japanese producers. The Executive Producer is Dominic Bird and it is hosted by former BBC economics editor Evan Davis. The Dragons are/were:
(Right to Left)
|Series 1||Series 2||Series 3||Series 4||Series 5||Series 6||Series 7||Series 8||Series 9||Series 10||Series 11||Series 12|
|2||Simon Woodroffe||Theo Paphitis||Deborah Meaden||Piers Linney|
|3||Doug Richard||Theo Paphitis||Deborah Meaden|
|4||Duncan Bannatyne||Hilary Devey||Kelly Hoppen|
|5||Rachel Elnaugh||Richard Farleigh||James Caan||Duncan Bannatyne|
The U.S. network ABC ordered a pilot episode which was produced by Sony Pictures TV. On October 9, 2008, a casting producer announced that The Shark Tank was accepting applications for a pilot, giving entrepreneurs two weeks to submit their ideas. The pilot was filmed from January 6 to January 9, 2009 in Los Angeles.
On September 26, 2014, Shark Tank began its sixth season. The Sharks are:
Unlike other versions of the show, the U.S version uses a rotating cast of six to eight "sharks", of which five appear in each episode.
On occasion, guest investors fill in for a regular shark whenever there is a vacancy on the panel. Past guest investors include:
|Season 1||Season 2||Season 3||Season 4||Season 5||Season 6|
|Jeff Foxworthy||Lori Greiner|