UCL Student Rides Into Heart of the Dragons Den

PhD student scores £90,000 from Paphitis and Meaden


A UCL student bagged £90,000 after persuading Dragons Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden to invest in his revolutionary  business.

Art Stavenka, 26, impressed the millionaire  investors with an invention which puts computer generated adverts on bicycle wheels.

Stavenka and business partner Kyril (the pair met in Belarus), faced a grilling from the Dragons in the Den.

Art (left) and his partner Kyril

Peter Jones was initially sceptical of how people would be able to see the adverts if they were speeding past on bikes, and Duncan Bannatyne also had doubts.

However the pair persevered and secured investment from Paphitis and the notoriously stingy Deborah Meaden, each investing £45,000 for 20% of the business.

The pair secured investment from Paphitis and the notoriously stingy Deborah Meaden

They were even able to pick and choose between the Dragons and reject Pall-Ex owner Hilary Devey’s offer for the full amount, trusting the other two Dragons to develop the business and deploy it across London.

Stavenka  began his  journey with a £7,500 loan given to him in the UCL Bright Ideas Awards, part of the £100,000 UCL offer annually to budding entrepreneurs.

Art (right) faced a grilling in the Den

He is the director of Old Bond London Ltd, which is centred on his unique technology for outdoor advertising.

His bikes will advertise services including casinos and nightclubs, and could make millions thanks to London’s heavy cycling traffic.

Whether we’ll be seeing ‘The Roxy’ bikes going up and down the Tottenham Court Road is an altogether different proposition…