Jake Hayman and Joe Kenyon smash crowdfunding target 12 hours after appearing on Dragons’ Den

Two entrepreneurs who turned down an unprecedented offer on BBC show Dragons’ Den to instead appeal for funding from the online community hit their £20,000 funding target in less than 12 hours.

The Camden based duo, Jake Hayman and Joe Kenyon, both former pupils of William Ellis School in Highgate Road, made history on Sunday night. Their pitch for an innovative Instagram framing business, called Frame Again, saw them both offered jobs by Dragon Peter Jones. The multi-millionaire businessman shocked the pair into silence when he asked them to come support him in his role as CEO of photography retailer Jessops.

Frame Again is an online photo framing business, where customers can upload their favourite Instagram/digital photos, from a smartphone, tablet or computer, choose a frame colour combination and have their frame delivered in under 24 hours.

Peter Jones’ unique offer would have seen the budding duo helping to build a similar kind of service for his business, but the request was rejected. After tense talks between the pair, viewers witnessed them turn him down – instead deciding “1,000 Dragons were better than one”.

Looking for alternatives, they decided to launch their own online crowdfunding campaign. By lunch on Monday, they had already smashed their £20,000 target.

“The office is ridiculously exciting at the moment,” Joe Kenyon said. “We’ve sold more frames today than in the entire past six months combined. Before you go into the Den, you go through your best scenario and your worst scenario. But the offer from Peter was not something we expected.”

He added: “The buzz around the studio after our pitch, from runners’ right up to the producer, was amazing – they knew they’d just seen something never before done in the Den.

“At one point we thought we’d go for it, but we realised the offer from Peter was a sign we were on the right track and a job at Jessops wasn’t really what either of us wanted.”

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