Allergy Lifestyle Receives Dragons’ Den Funding
26th April 2016
Anne Walsh, founder of Allergy Lifestyle, appeared on RTÉ’S Dragons’ Den on Sunday to pitch for the dragons’ investment and was successful to the tune of €70,000 from Barry O’Sullivan.
The Mayo company Allergy Lifestyle – an online e-commerce business – has been supplying allergy, anaphylaxis and asthma products throughout Ireland and the UK since 2013.
From Tuam in Galway, Anne was inspired to set up the business based on her experience of managing her daughter’s allergies. “Ten years ago our third child suffered a near fatal allergic reaction to peanuts coming up to her second birthday. She was diagnosed with an anaphylactic peanut allergy, egg, sesame seed and dust-mite allergies. She also has Hay Fever & oral allergy syndrome,” explained Anne.
“As a family we were suddenly thrown into the ‘Allergy Lifestyle’. Known as Anaphylaxis affects it 1–2% of adults and 2–3 % of kids and can be fatal in less than 20 minutes but there seemed to be very little available at the time to help families.” Anne has brought together a range of products and information resources to help keep our little ones safe.
This year with the backing of Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund grant they have developed the first Allergy Lifestyle branded product called the Anaphylaxis Emergency response kit (AER KIT). It is an accessory case for anyone carrying adrenaline to manage severe, potentially life threatening allergies.
With studies showing that up to 83% of people can get it wrong in an emergency Allergy Lifestyle wanted to ensure that whoever has responsibility has all the medicines and the information in one handy kit to deal with an allergic reaction. It is ideal for schools, crèches and organisation holding adrenaline and asthma medicines as the case provide protective, portable storage for the meds and also includes guides the to assist the carer deal with a reaction until medical attention can be reached.
“We now feel much safer letting our daughter participate in clubs and activities, knowing if an allergic reaction should occur, whoever is in charge can be guided through managing the reaction,” said Anne.
“The investment from Dragons Den is such a positive move for us. It is allowing us to step up to the next platform as we now are aiming to break into the mainstream retail/pharmacy sector. Our products are helping people to stay safe, and is so helpful to parents of young children who simply just want to head to a party or a sleepover but before there was always a worry they might eat something that could really make them sick. Now this kit means this simple fun thing can be just that for parents and for children. It is great to feel covered for both adults and children with allergies,” said Anne.
There are now two new female dragons appearing on the TV show – Alison Cowzer, East Coast Bakehouse and Eleanor McEvoy, Budget Energy Limited.
(Pictured: Anne Walsh with her daughter Aisling.)