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Overcoming Challenges: VanGuardian’s Pitch in Dragons’ Den

Steven Bartlett in Dragons Den Reviewing Vanguardian

Mike Horsfall’s appearance on the BBC Dragons’ Den series was a pivotal moment for VanGuardian, his innovative van security company. Presenting in front of Britain’s most formidable investors, Mike faced the immense challenge of pitching Vanguardian’s advanced zonal alarm system. This high-pressure environment is known for its rigorous scrutiny and tough questioning, presenting a significant test of both the product’s innovation and Mike’s business acumen. This blog will explore Mike’s experience in this demanding setting, highlighting the anticipation and challenges he encountered in Dragons’ Den.

Explaining Vanguardian’s Technology

During his pitch, Mike Horsfall highlighted Vanguardian’s patented technology, focusing on its pre-emptive zonal alarm system. This unique system is designed to activate upon contact, offering a proactive approach to vehicle security. Mike touched on the flexible base of the alarms, which adapts to various vehicle shapes, and the use of  a powerful 3M high tack waterproof adhesive used to provide a strong powerful long lasting bond for easy, damage-free attachment. What was less explored in the episode was the extent of VanGuardian’s zonal technology, including its ability to provide targeted security for individual specific vulnerable areas  on and around a vehicle, like the roof rack  pipe carrier and ladder and asset protection on a roof rack as well as the rear and side doors. This flexible aspect of the technology is crucial, as it enables customisation to suit different vehicle types and sizes, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the system.

Addressing the Dragons’ Concerns

The Dragons raised concerns about the market size and the uniqueness of the Vanguardian alarm system. While they questioned its distinctiveness from existing alarms and the size of the potential market, Mike emphasised  the unique preemptive feature of the Vanguardian system, which activates before damage occurs. He also addressed the market size concern by highlighting the broad applicability of the system, not just for vans but also for motorhomes and campervans, which significantly expands the target market. This aspect, not fully explored in the episode, demonstrates the wide-ranging appeal of VanGuardian’s technology in various vehicle segments.

The Learning Experience

The feedback from the Dragons, though challenging, provided valuable insights for Vanguardian. It highlighted the importance of clear communication, especially when explaining complex technologies to potential investors or customers. This experience led to a refined approach in presenting the unique aspects of the Vanguardian alarm system, emphasising  its broader market potential. Lessons learned included the need for a clear, concise business narrative and a deeper understanding of market dynamics. These insights have since been integrated into Vanguardian’s business strategy, enhancing both their marketing efforts and product development.

Moving Forward After Dragons’ Den

Since appearing on Dragons’ Den, Vanguardian has shown remarkable progress. The experience led to significant improvements in their business strategy and product development. Vanguardian fine-tuned its market approach, focusing on the diverse needs of its customer base, including expanding into the motorhome and campervan markets. The company has also enhanced its communication and marketing strategies, ensuring that the unique features of its alarm system are clearly and effectively conveyed.


Vanguardian’s experience on Dragons’ Den showcases the resilience and adaptability necessary in business. Despite the challenges faced, the journey has been an inspiring testament to overcoming obstacles and leveraging feedback for growth. This story serves as a motivation for businesses to persist, adapt, and evolve, even in the face of tough criticism or setbacks.



Picture of Michael Horsfall

Michael Horsfall

Michael Horsfall, a seasoned plumbing and heating engineer with over 35 years of trade experience, is the innovative mind behind VanGuardian, a proactive van security solution. His journey into the realm of security was triggered by recurrent incidents of theft, particularly copper pipe theft right from outside his residence in Leeds. The rampant van crimes led him to envision VanGuardian, a patented alarm system engineered to deter theft by activating upon contact, safeguarding assets before any damage occurs. Michael's in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by tradesmen, paired with his endeavor on Dragons' Den to secure investment, underscores his commitment to fostering van safety. His profound expertise and real-world experience equip him with a distinctive insight, making his blogs an invaluable resource for individuals seeking pragmatic advice on van safety and security.

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