Former UCLan student wins Dragon's Den investment

Hanna Sillitoe on Dragons' Den
Hanna Sillitoe on Dragons' Den

Former UCLan student Hanna Sillitoe was still pinching herself today after emerging from TV’s Dragons’ Den with a £60,000 investment in her revolutionary vegan skincare range.

Two Dragons - Tej Lalvani and Peter Jones - agreed in last night’s programme to pump in £30,000 each in exchange for a slice of the business.

And Hanna, 40, told the Post: “I’m so excited. To go into partnership with two businessmen of that pedigree is incredible. I still can’t quite believe it.”

Hanna (inset), a former film and media student in Preston, pitched her idea to the Dragons in what she described as “an incredibly scary experience.”

“I can’t liken it to anything else I’ve ever done. It felt surreal, like an out-of-body experience, standing there in the Den. I’ve watched it on TV and suddenly I was standing there in front of the Dragons. It was just an amazing experience.”

As CEO of Vitabiotics, the UK’s number one vitamin company, Tej Lalvani was the perfect fit for Hanna’s company which focuses on health and wellbeing. Peter has interests in mobile phones, television, media, leisure, retail and property and is a regular on US TV.

“Tej was always top of my list. His brand is centred on wellbeing and he proved in the Den that he completely understood my vision. His connections with some of the UK’s biggest health store retailers is obviously massive for me.

“Peter focused on my desire to reach out globally and conquer America. So much of my work is online and I don’t doubt his tech experience will prove absolutely invaluable.

“My day in the Den was just the beginning. Together we’re going to prove a powerful trio.”

For 20 years Hanna suffered from psoriasis and eczema and tried everything to treat it. But nothing worked.

So she decided to switch to a strict diet, turning her back on sugar, dairy, alcohol, wheat and caffeine in the hope it might help. The transformation was little short of miraculous.

Now she is a picture of health and five years ago gave up her job as an interior designer to launch a career as a ‘skin guru.’

Her book Radiant: Recipes to Heal Your Skin from Within, has become a best-seller and she runs retreats to help fellow sufferers.

She also appears at food and wellbeing festivals talking about her diet plan.