Dragons were always synonymous with fire anyway—but the modern version of the mythical beast has now made an investment that will ensure a family firm from Galway has a grate future ahead!
That’s after EcoGrate—the Claregalway business owned by Joseph Goodfellow and his daughter Carmel—agreed to a major cash injection from two of the modern-day Dragons after an appearance in their Den.
Joseph and Carmel used the programme to showcase their eco-friendly device which reduces the amount of fossil fuels required to warm up a room while helping the environment by reducing pollution.
The product is placed into a fireplace recess and draws in cold air from the room that travels through a cast iron manifold and is heated from the fuel being burned. The air is then released back into the room up to eight times warmer.
The father and daughter initially hoped for an €80,000 share for 16% in the company.
Two of the dragons, Barry O’Sullivan and Eleanor McEvoy, made a joint offer of €80,000 for 25% of the business—an offer that Joseph and Carmel couldn’t turn down.
“We were absolutely delighted” Carmel said. “It takes a lot of work to set up a business from scratch and with Dragons’ Den we knew it would be great for us and for advertisement.”
Carmel said their produce is typically sold more in winter months, but since their RTÉ debut they’ve had an excellent response.
“We’ve got calls from nearly part of Ireland so the response has been great,” she adds.
While it’s more common to hear of a father and son working together, Carmel said working with her father has been a special experience. “We get on really well and working with him has been great,” she said.
Joseph typically works in front of the computer as a designer and Carmel works as the marketer. Joseph explains on the show that they have completed comparison tests between an ordinary open fire and EcoGrate.
The test, which were verified by GMIT, were conduced in the same conditions and the results proved that the EcoGrate burned less than half the amount than a regular open fire.
The product development began in 2011 and was tested in the UK to pass European standards. The product is CE marked, which means the product has been checked to meet high safety, health and environmental protection requirements.
EcoGrate has been on sale at Claregalway Corporate Park-based store since November 2014.