Teenage music mogul stunned by Bannatyne offer

Young entrepreneur speaks exclusively to Startups about Dragons’ Den success

Teenage entrepreneur Ryan Ashmore has told Startups he “could not believe it” when he received an offer from Duncan Bannatyne on this week’s episode of Dragons’ Den.

Ashmore, together with business partner Liam Webb, secured a £50,000 investment from Bannatyne for their fledgling music business, RKA Records.

Speaking exclusively to our reporter, Ashmore – who lives with his parents, and has yet to draw a salary from his business – added:

“The other Dragons went out in quick succession and I was expecting to hear those famous words from Duncan, ”I’m out’!’ But when he made that offer it was so surreal and I was on cloud nine!

“My family were so happy about the news, my family and friends were all sceptical with me going in there – I was as well! I didn’t tell them straight away when I came out of the Den because it’s something I wanted to tell them face to face.”

In return for his investment, Bannatyne gained a 79% stake in the teenagers’ business; however, Ashmore insists he and Webb will be allowed to keep day-to-day control.

“He (Bannatyne) is going to pay a role as much as time allows. He’s always there, on the other end of the phone. He openly admitted he doesn’t know much about the music industry, and he’ll accept a bit of a back-seat approach and let Liam and I run the show.”

RKA Records has already signed up three promising young pop artists, and the founders hope to release a single in the near future – with a view to reaching the top 10 of the charts.

When asked to cite his business role model, Ashmore said:  “Simon Cowell’s been a very big inspiration to me, because although his father was well-connected, he did lose everything at one point and had to move back in with the parents. He’s the benchmark for our business.”

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