Dragons' Den success story; online antique valuation

Interview with...

Patrick van der Vorst
At Sotheby’s for 13 years, including as director
Business name:
Value My Stuff
Online antique valuation service
Trading for:
One year
Patrick van der Vorst

Patrick van der Vorst on his experience on Dragons' Den...

“It was really intimidating actually! I was in there for two and a half hours and that gets edited down to one minute. So what you see on television is more dramatic than it actually was.

“The first five minutes are very intimidating because you walk up those stairs and you haven’t met the Dragons before, you haven’t seen the studio and there are lights and cameras everywhere, and the five Dragons sitting there.”

I’ve been amazed with the level of involvement, I speak to Deborah nearly twice a week and we email almost every day

On the interrogation from the dragons...

“I got an easy ride for about 15 minutes and then out of the blue they fire two questions at me, and they won’t necessarily have anything to do with the conversation. I think they try to catch you out. 

“It is a television programme so it has to look as dramatic, but I think if you’re on your guard and don’t let yourself be thrown by it all, then it's ok.

“The good thing was the Dragons immediately understood the concept of the website, so none of the questions were about the product itself because they all thought it was a good idea. Most of the questioning was about the business financials.”

On his relationship with business partners Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden...

“It’s actually much better than I could have anticipated! Before you start working together you don’t know what it will be like. I think a lot of people are under the impression that when the deal is done you get the money and they get the shares and that’s it.

“I’ve been amazed with the level of involvement, I speak to Deborah nearly twice a week and we email almost every day. They’re actually very available and up to now I’ve been very impressed!”


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