“You can’t match the PR that comes with Dragons’ Den…
In October 2014, Management Today sat down with Scott Cupit to ask him 20 questions about himself and Swing Patrol. Check out a little snippet below:
1. IF YOU HAD DONE SOMETHING ELSE WHAT WOULD IT HAVE BEEN?
I think I would have run some sort of tourist company. Every day outside my door, I run into tourists who ask, ‘Can you give me a hand?’ Now I offer to help people. I always get a real buzz out of it. Mostly people appreciate it, otherwise they run away – they think they’d get mugged.
2. WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU NAME YOUR BUSINESS?
It has to have the word swing in it – other dances like the Lindy Hop are too obscure. So I would probably name it after a classic swing song – Pearly Shell Swing or Madam Dynamite Swing.
3. IF YOU COULD BE BASED IN ANOTHER CITY WHERE WOULD IT BE?
Berlin. It’s just so uber cool. It’s got a bigger swing culture even than east London. We’ve got Swing Patrol Berlin and every time I come back I’m like, ‘I’ve got to live here one day.’
4. WHEN YOU STARTED, HOW DID YOU RAISE MONEY?
When we started Swing Patrol five years ago, I put about £3,000 in and had to do it on the cheap. I did everything manually – spent all Saturdays printing cheap flyers and putting them in letterboxes.
My brother works in venture capital and could have easily given me £65,000, but I could have never got the PR that comes along with Dragon’s Den. No one’s heard of my brother; everyone’s heard of Deborah Meaden. You could never match that.
5. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST IMPORTANT DECISION SO FAR?
To take on a new staff member. It’s one thing to take on all this attention, but I left banking as a lifestyle decision. At the end of the day, I just love dancing.
If you’ve ever wanted to know what other names Swing Patrol may have been called, or what Scott’s best and worst jobs have been, you can read the full article here.