THE first person to appear on TV’s Dragon’s Den gave companies the benefit of his experience developing innovative products at a marketing event in Huddersfield.

Yorkshire-based Graham Whitby was unsuccessful in his bid to attract investment from the panel – but went on to achieve success with a string of businesses and bright ideas.

Graham gave a talk on 100 Things Not To Do in Business when he delivered the final lecture in a series of free talks at Huddersfield University. The series was organised by the university’s Marketing Society with support from Golcar-based text messaging specialist SMileS and the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Graham has built up a strong track record in launching new products and companies.

His Baby Dream Machine, designed to soothe your baby to sleep, was derided when he unveiled it on Dragon’s Den.

But it proved to be a star product at a major trade show in Cologne, Germany, and is now distributed in eight different countries.

The entrepreneur has also set up other businesses, including Alchemy Products, which develops electronic products such as the Alchemy Atom tracker devices; online nursery products supplier and Temperate Systems, a company providing bathwater heating systems.

An audience of business people, students and academics attended the lecture and heard how his Dragon’s Den appearance helped set Graham up as a “go-to” person for others who had inventions, but did not know how to get them to market.

Andy Earnshaw, of SMileS said: “We were pleased with the number and quality of attendees.

“We are particularly pleased to be involved with events like the Marketing Society-organised series Putting Principles into Practice that help local businesses to learn good practice from other businesses – and making that learning an enjoyable experience.”

Mr Earnshaw also thanked Nadio Granata, senior marketing lecturer at the university and two other speakers who delivered earlier lectures. Mark Bradley, of The Fan Experience Company, spoke about his work for The Football League while Paul Scott gave an insight into making the best use of social media by sharing his experience while working for Apple.