Shay Sharma, 15, who created the board game Football Billionaire with his father’s help, impressed the investors at the March 9 episode
By: Chandrashekar Bhat
A teenage entrepreneur won a deal at BBC Dragons’ Den despite being too young to be grilled by the investors at the business reality show.
Shay Sharma, 15, who created the board game Football Billionaire with his father’s help, impressed the investors at the March 9 episode and walked away with an investment offer from Dragon Peter Jones.
Jones said he decided to invest in the board game business after “the first two or three sentences” of the boy’s pitch.
A Chelsea fan, Shay combined his love for football and chess to create Football Billionaire where one can purchase clubs, buy stadiums and create a team by collecting players.
As he had to leave the Den after his pitch because of his age, his father Raj Sharma took questions from the Dragons and Jones offered £50,000 for a 20 per cent stake in the boardgame business. Raj accepted the offer.
Asked why Shay sought investment from the Dragons instead of getting the company funded by his family, Raj said his son did not want his father’s money and instead sought to run the business independently.
Shay admitted being “nervous” in the run-up to the show as “reality had sunk in that I had been selected to pitch my board game”.
“Together with my father’s help and advice, we finally made it,” the City of London School pupil said, adding, “the Dragons loved us!”
Together with its eight special editions, Football Billionaire ranked in the top 20 selling board games on Amazon.