STARCAMP's Aideen charms the Dragons!
Posted by Kinsale Newsletter on Wednesday 6 March 2013

Cork girl, Aideen O’Grady said that she feels like she has “struck gold” after luring DRAGON Peter Casey into her STARCAMP Den on Sunday night’s first episode of the new series of DRAGON’S DEN.
 Aideen entered the Den in the hope of giving away 10% of her company, STARCAMP for €30,000 and to get a dragon on board. STARCAMP is a nationwide children’s performing network in operation since 2007, which instils confidence and self-esteem through the performing arts.
“Entering the Den, everyone must state the percentage that they are willing to part with for a certain amount of money” Aideen said, “but at the end of the day, of course you leave room for negotiation, the cut-off point in my head was actually 25%, if I got the right Dragon to invest!”
Aideen managed to get a very quick offer from Dragon Barry O’Sullivan, unusually this first offer was exactly what she had asked for. This clearly put a smile on Aideen’s face as worst case she had what she wanted. After an offer from Gavin Duffy whom she “had at hello”, for the full amount but who looked for 35% of her business, she got a final offer from Peter Casey which was simply too good to refuse. Aideen is the first ever contestant to enter the Irish dragon’s Den and to part with only 5% of her business, half of the 10% she had intended. Another first is the trip to America that Peter threw in to seal the deal.
Aideen’s business, STARCAMP, has been running award-winning summer camps for all boys and girls aged 4 – 13 throughout Ireland for the last number of years. Since its inception, she has been inundated with requests to open stage schools and to offer this winning formula of singing, dancing and acting combined with confidence building on an on-going basis. This year’s goals were to roll these out in the form of franchises and to also launch Starcamp Parties. Starcamp parties launched this week and are a brand new concept in children’s parties. These eagerly anticipated parties offer vibrant, new and very exciting themes like The Starcamp Red Carpet Event, Pyjama Drama, Rockstar Party, The Wild West and The Royal Ball. The brand new website is also home to a new shop and a very interesting franchise section.
Until this year, Starcamp was like a one man band but with lots of contributors and free help. Now there are 5 full time staff in their new office, 10 party hosts and approximately 60 part timers and contributors. “Like everyone in Ireland at the moment, it drives me crazy that there are extremely talented, hard-working and willing individuals sitting at home unable to gain employment. For this reason, we are currently offering our Stage School and Party Franchises to sell for the most affordable and cost-effective prices possible. For €6,500 you can set up your dream stage school or for €4,000 you can own your own party business. It is a simple and very achievable way for so many people to buy into a company and brand that is succeeding beyond all expectation through this recession, and where opportunities and growth are limitless. Finance packages available for certain individuals and if you follow our fool proof plan, you simply can’t lose. We will give all the necessary tools and support to ensure the individual and new business reaches its maximum potential. If everyone that was in a position to, could do a little something to help this economy we will have it back to its rightful place in time.”
Aideen have said or done anything differently in the Den? – “I wouldn’t change a thing. Then again, that’s one of my main beliefs in life, everything that happens - happens for a reason. That means even if I blabber, lose my cool or nearly run out the door with nerves – then suck it up and laugh it off, it was meant to happen to me for some ridiculous reason. The bottom line is I could not be happier with the outcome.” It’s onwards and upwards for the newest Dragon’s Den success story STARCAMP.
You can book your child’s summer camp or party now at or by calling 021-4377900


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