Business Irish

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Neat idea to block out a real eyesore

A Dragon helps Hidbin prettify the wheelie bin, writes Mark O'Loughlin

Published 11/04/2010 | 05:00

WHAT is the ugliest and most unsightly thing in your home? You and your family use it every day and it's a necessary evil. Imagine making it disappear -- but it still being there when needed.

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The offending article is, of course, your wheelie bin and my new product, the Hidbin, does exactly what the name suggests. See it on www.hidbin.ie -- From Unsightly to Unseen!

I brought my new invention on to the Dragons' Den last week and explained how it banishes the blight of your wheelie bins.

It went down amazingly well and I walked out a happy man with my investment.

My name is Mark O'Loughlin and the Hidbin camouflages a garden eyesore, turning it into a nice, neat, natural-looking hedge.

It's simply a synthetic hedge on a steel frame, complete with lid and doors and for only €99.95 (including VAT) you too can turn the unsightly into the unseen!

For those who didn't catch Dragons' Den last week (I'm acutely aware that it clashed with both Lost and the Masters golf), I marched up the stairs and removed the black cloth, revealing an early prototype of the Hidbin.

Then I turned to face the Dragons and nearly had a heart attack. It was a daunting challenge but my firm passion and belief in the Hidbin solution carried me through the next 45 minutes or so of intense questioning.

Memorised two-minute pitch over, there followed an unnerving and rather long silence -- which I wish someone had warned me about.

Richard Curran's voiceover summarised things nicely: "It's a simple, aesthetically sound solution to an everyday problem." Once the questions started, I was away in a hack.

Clearly all the Dragons were enthusiastic. Niall O'Farrell, a bit of a design guru himself, said: "It's great and is definitely going to work."

His constructive criticism has since contributed to perfecting the new and improved Hidbin design.

Even Sarah Newman exclaimed it was a pretty neat idea. She bowed out, however, on the grounds that some people can't even afford their bin charges these days.

My polite retort, sadly edited out, was that since the property crash the focus of people's spending is very much on home improvement.

Besides, with 27 million homes in the UK alone, the potential export market for the Hidbin is huge. Seven million of these are terraced houses (we have 300,000 in Ireland), the owners of which are often forced to keep their bins out front.

It was a rollercoaster experience. At one point I thought that they'd all want a stake. As Richard Curran said: "There was a lot of love in the room for the big man from Kildare."

In the end I was delighted to team up with Gavin Duffy and am honoured to have such a respected mentor on board to help launch and establish the Hidbin as a top-selling household brand.

For more information, call Hidbin on (045) 579-100, or see www.hidbin.ie

Sunday Independent

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