'Foolish' Idea: Selling computer games by mail-order.
Start-up Capital: A £2,500 loan from the Prince's Trust.
How Idea was Launched: For the first year, Dylan Wilk ran his Leeds-based mail-order company, Gameplay, on his own from home. He purchased games at competitive prices. Once he'd worked out the costs, he advertised the games, buying them in as people ordered them.
Sales: Entirely through mail order from advertising. Gameplay, now has a huge warehouse for its stock.
Earnings: The firm was floated on the stock market at the initial value of £88 million in August 1999. Dylan personally made £4 million from the deal.
No bank would lend money to Dylan Wilk, although they agreed his business plan was good. Instead, they advised him to return in 10 years time, because at 20 yrs, they said he was too young. So, Dylan applied to the Prince's Trust and they gave him a loan of £2,500.
Working from home, which was a flat, Dylan Wilk telephoned all the major suppliers of computer games and shouted at them until they agreed to supply his business, Gameplay, at competitive prices. His flat was soon piled high with boxes of computer games, they were even stacked up in the bathroom. After about 7 months his mother started helping out. He continued working from home for the first year, advertising the games then buying them in as people placed orders.
Business was booming when Dylan suffered a major setback. A powerful business man started a business calling it Gameplay Ltd and issued a high court writ to stop Dylan trading. Dylan had a couple of months of hell, but he won the court case, because he'd been trading under that name for a year.
So, Dylan carried on expanding Gameplay for another 4 years, until August 1999, when the firm floated on the stock market for £88million, of which £4million went to Dylan, personally.