This year, the format of the TV programme changed. Instead of hiring an apprentice, Lord Sugar was to select one of the candidates as a partner for a new business venture, into which Lord Sugar would invest £250,000. The four finalists prepared business plans, all of which were savaged by Lord Sugars’ advisers. In the end, Lord Sugar chose Tom and his office chair project, but his lordship made clear that the project would need some “tweaks”.
Subsequent comments by Lord Sugar indicated that he might be more interested in developing Tom’s curved nail file project. Tom had been successful in getting this product launched in Walmart in the US and UK, but the project later seemed to have languished through lack of follow-through on Tom’s part.
Tom is an engineering graduate from the University of Bath, which we like as our latest recruit, AnnMarie Humphries, has a masters degree in engineering from that university.
Tom came across as more inventor than entrepreneur. Details of Tom’s nail file patent (and a couple of other patents invented by Thomas Pellereau) can be found on the Espacenet website here.
We wonder what contract terms will be applied for this seed round of investment. According to this venture capitalist, the legal fees for a seed round of investment should not exceed $5,000. In our view, this could be do-able if the company is “clean” and all parties (and their lawyers) take a reasonable, “plain vanilla” approach, but life isn’t always that simple!