Lincolnshire drinks entrepreneur Claire Hall has taken part in a new crowd-funding television programme in a bid to brew up some financial backing for her business.
Claire, the creator and maker of Percy’s Vodka Teas, is set to appear on The Money Pit – a new entertainment show where ordinary people risk their own money to invest in the bright ideas and small businesses of hopeful entrepreneurs, starting on Freeview channel Dave on Thursday.
Claire has already invested around £50,000 of her own savings, money from relatives and grants and decided to apply for the show, hosted by comedian and actor Jason Manford, to try to raise financial backing to help with automation for the drinks she makes at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing, in Holbeach.
The 33-year-old has already dedicated ten years of her life to turning her idea for vodka iced teas into a reality.
She came up with the idea while drinking a fruit flavoured tea on her lunch break.
However, in order to take the product to the next level she needs to secure major investment.
“I’ve never really done anything like this before,” says Claire, of Kirton Holme, near Boston, who went on The Money Pit – billed as business speed-dating – seeking £10,000 backing, which is just a small slice of the funding she requires.
“I tried not to think about the television aspect too much – it was an opportunity for me to try to raise some funding in the short term and it was a great way to get Percy’s Vodka Teas some coverage.
“It was also an opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs and share ideas and challenges.”
The Money Pit runs for eight episodes, although Claire does not know which one she features in.
During each episode, Manford plays ringmaster as dozens of amateur investors – with anything from £100 to £20,000 to invest – decide which entrepreneurs, inventors, tradespeople, artisans and tech creators to back, with a share of the company or a special reward in return.
Fast-paced and funny, it’s the power of the crowd, because investors can change their minds right up to the end of each episode, when there will be frantic, last- minute movements of money as the crowd flocks to one entrepreneur and abandon another.
The show taps into the popular trend of crowd-funding, bringing it to life in an intense, arena-style setting that will see rivalries develop between strong-willed investors who fancy themselves able to spot the next big thing and entrepreneurs fighting for funds.
As for the outcome, Claire is keeping tight-lipped, simply saying people will just have to tune in to find out what happens.
l Percy’s Vodka Teas are currently available through online retailer Not On The High Street and her own website percys-t.com, where they are priced £4 for a 250ml. They are flavoured White Tea, Pear and Raspberry; White Tea, Apple and Elderflower; Black Tea, Lemon and Lime and Black Tea, Pear and Ginger.