‘Dragon’ backs bike tools whizz-kid
A young entrepreneur has won a big investment boost for his motorcycle tools business after appearing on BBC TV’s Dragons’ Den.
Chris Frappell, from Nailsea, near Bristol, set up Tru-Tension in 2015 after developing and patenting Chain Monkey – a quick and easy way to set chain tension correctly. He has since expanded his product range to include a similar device for belt-driven motorbikes along with lubricants and cleaners.
After making his pitch on Dragons’ Den earlier this month, fashion, retail, manufacturing and property magnate Touker Suleyman agreed to invest £75,000 in Tru-Tension. Touker said: “Chris should be immensely proud of the brand he has built with very little external help. Now it’s time for us to take things to the next level.”
Chris, aged 26, who spent 18 months developing Chain Monkey after gaining a first class honours degree in motorsport engineering, said the investment meant that new products were “on the horizon much sooner than we could have hoped.”
He added: “It was such an amazing and exciting experience pitching to the Dragons. Everything has happened so quickly since securing investment from Touker.”
Although Chris was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of four, he took up kart racing at the age of five. Last year, he received funding from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust’s Helen Barrett Bright Ideas Awards, which support young entrepreneurs, to fund a trip to the US, resulting in a deal to distribute his products nationally.
Chain Monkey is already available in Halfords and the full range will be in stores form April 2018.