A single mother pitching a portable toilet on Dragons’ Den last night wowed viewers who scrambled to buy the product online.
Zoë Chapman, the founder of Kiddiwhizz, appeared on the BBC1 programme to pitch her toilet product Whizzer to the group of entrepreneurs.
She thought of the portable toilet while giving her father end-of-life care and potty-training her young son, quickly working 16-18 hour days to ensure it was a success.
Dragons Sara Davies and Steven Bartlett were impressed by her product and work ethic. They gave her £25,000 each for a combined 25 per cent share in her business.
Many viewers were also delighted for Ms Chapman, with one tweeting: ‘The Whizzer invention alone is quite impressive, but Zoë has impressed me so much more.’
Founder of Kiddiwhizz Zoë Chapman wowed viewers of Dragons’ Den last night after she pitched a portable toilet
Zoë’s product, the Whizzer, is a handheld portable toilet, which the entrepreneur launched in 2020
Another wrote: ‘Our three-year-old, newly potty trained boy, needs the Whizzer! What a product. Game changing.’
A third added: ‘I had tears for Zoe. So happy for her.’ Another wrote: ‘Just seen the pitch for the Whizzer. It’s brilliant!’
One person said: ‘Watching Dragons Den on catch up, was it Zoe with the portable potty? Well that made me tearful. Very happy when any family carer makes a life for herself after caring.’
On the programme, Ms Chapman said she was prepared to do whatever it takes to make her business a success.
She added: ‘I work day and night, 16-18 hours a day, so I live and breathe the business.
‘I’m a single mother, proud to be one. It’s just me and my son, he’s 10 now. When he was born, I was looking after my dad as well who sadly passed away.
Many of those watching the programme were blown away by the product, with some calling it ‘brilliant’
‘So I launch the product in his honour. I know he’d be proud of me. Everything is going into this, and I’m doing it all for my sons so I hope he’s proud as well.’
Walking into the den, she introduced herself and said she was the solo founder of the Kiddiwhizz and her product Whizzer.
Ms Chapman explained she was asking for £50,000 from the dragons in exchange for 10 per cent of her business.
The mother-of-one said: ‘Seven years ago, I was struggling to potty-train my child. I was also providing end-of-life care for my father.
‘I needed to find a product that was compact as a toilet that I could carry around for both of them. I searched but couldn’t find anything so I decided to invent my own.
The mother-of-one thought of the portable toilet while giving her father end-of-life care and potty-training her young son, quickly working 16-18 hour days to ensure it was a success
She said it was unlike anything else on the market, offering a useful product for parents who are potty-training children
The dragons were impressed by the product, which they were invited to assemble and inspect on the programme
‘The whizzer is the world’s first unisex eco-friendly portable toilet, with an adult version coming soon.’
The mother then invited questions from the dragons, demonstrating how to put the cup-like product together. She said: ‘It holds at the front of the body. Once the child has weed, you can just take the funnel off and empty it.’
She said she launched the business in February 2020, before discussing how she had managed to fund the launch by selling her car and other possessions.
Ms Chapman told the dragons she hadn’t stopped, adding: ‘Every element has been designed by me. I have not outsourced a single thing. Every day is a day for learning.’
While both Peter Jones and Touker Suleyman expressed an interest, neither decided to invest.
Meanwhile, Ms Chapman struggled to remember her numbers when asked a question by Mr Bartlett.
She said: ‘This whole thing is to surround myself with mentors. If anyone was to give me any advice or come on this journey with me, I’d be absolutely grateful.
‘I have been through a journey. I have bipolar and I have neurodiverse challenges.
‘I just hope people can see that that has been my super power, I don’t think there’s many people who could work a 16-18 hour day.’
In the end, it was Ms Davies and Mr Bartlett who came together to offer investment, deciding to work together to bring their different skillsets to her business.
Ms Chapman was ecstatic, leaving the den with £50,000 and the backing of two dragons.
She said: ‘I don’t know what to say. I don’t think it’s going to sink in for quite a long time.
‘The only thing I want to do now is Facetime my son and tell him the good news.’