Dan Eisner, True North Mortgage

September 27, 2011

In 2007, I was impressed by Dan Eisner‘s mortgage brokerage business, True North Mortgage, when he described how lucrative and profitable it was when I met him at the Calgary Dragons’ Den audition.

By chance I met Dan again today, and he said he now has 7, yes SEVEN, officies across Canada (2 in Calgary, 2 in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Halifax).

I am happy for Dan. Have a watch of my video interview with Dan Eisner in 2007.


Season six premiere – episode 6.01

September 15, 2011

I watched the Season six premiere tonight and even taped it so I can rewatch any part if I wanted to. Like many others expressed on CBC Dragons’ Den Facebook page tonight, I miss Brett Wilson and the show is not the same without Brett. Plus, I think I have seen enough of non-entrepreneurs (some people simply call them “crazy” or “nut”) that are put on TV to be laughed at (note: not “laugh with”) at length!

Whats going on? This is the six season already, don’t we have more entrepreneurs in Canada that have serious businesses to fill the show? Of course, it is fun TV to have non-entrepreneurs to let TV viewers laugh at and critize but I would rather learn from some good and solid businesses and pitches.

I’ve watched Brett Wilson’s new show “Risky Business” and love it. Sure, Risky Business isn’t perfect but it is great for a series premiere. You can watch Risky Business online here. In contrast, Dragons’ Den is at its sixth season now, I honestly expect more.

Don’t get me wrong, my bet is Dragons’ Den Season Six will make CBC a ton load of money but I think CBC need to up their game and put less “non-entrepreneurs” on the show.

I’ve been a long time Dragons’ Den fan and I want to emphasize that in Oct 2006, I wrote a harsh article criticizing Globe and Mail’s John Doyle’s negative review of the brand new and not yet popular Dragons’ Den. I was fair about what I wrote then, and I am fair about what I write now.


Watch Brett Wilson’s brand new show Risky Business online – Highly Recommended

September 13, 2011

Brett Wilson's brand new show Risky Business

Dragons’ Den fans know our beloved Brett Wilson left the show last season. Well, CBC’s lost and Slice TV‘s and our gain as Brett is back and he has his own great show!

Watch Brett Wilson’s new show Risky Business online now if you missed the show’s premiere last night (Monday 9pm ET/PT), I love it. Highly Recommended.

I’ve got the pleasure to get to know Brett for a few years now, he is really a nice and fair guy off TV and on TV. Go Brett Go !!!


Bruce Croxon, new CBC Dragon

June 28, 2011

I haven’t visited the CBC Dragons’ Den site for a while. Today, I found the charming Lisa Gabriele, Senior Producer of Dragons’ Den, spoke to “Bruce Croxon, a 50-year-old, married father of two young children, who lives in downtown Toronto“. Have a watch of the video. Season 6 of CBC Dragons’ Den comes back in Sept 2011.


Brett Wilson interview – Leaving Dragons’ Den, TV offers, Uno, Risky Business, Canoe Financial, Twitter, Facebook, and Maya Wilson

May 12, 2011

Brett Wilson interview 2011

Few days ago I had the great pleasure of chatting with Brett Wilson, Calgary entrepreneur, investor, former Dragon, and philanthropist. We chatted about a wide range of topics and I have posted the five video clips on YouTube with transcripts.

Brett Wilson interview – 01/05 – Leaving CBC Dragons’ Den, TV offers, Uno bike, and Ben Gulak (with transcript)

02/05 – New TV show “Risky Business” (Info and chat about Brett’s new show “Risky Business”, coming this fall) (with transcript)

03/05 – Canoe Financial (Brett has a substantial investment in Canoe. We talked about his involvement) (with transcript)

04/05 – Social Media (Twitter, Facebook) (How Brett does his Twitter and Facebook magic?) (with transcript)

05/05 – Maya Wilson (Brett talks about the recent passing of Maya Wilson, his beloved chocolate brown flat-coated retriever) (with transcript)


Brett Wilson to host “Risky Business” on Slice TV

April 20, 2011

4:43pm Update: Here is a great radio interview with Brett  by @phoenixonair. Highly recommended. I have fixed this article to correct my mistaken impressions about some elements of the show. Sorry for the mistakes.

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I am excited to report a new high-stakes investing television series with Brett Wilson called Risky Business is being launched and premiering on Slice in Fall 2011. The show is holding casting calls for both investors and entrepreneurs.

After gaining better understanding from listening to Brett’s radio interview, the entrepreneurs are definitely not the kind I have originally been thinking of. This makes everything really interesting and non-traditional. According to Brett, Risky Business is based on the UK BBC format “Beat the Bank“. Interestingly, Duncan Bannatyne, presenter of Beat, is a Dragon on BBC.

Here is an excerpt from the press release (emphasis added),

“In each episode of Risky Business, Brett will give the daring couple a chance to risk big and win big. As host, he will guide the investors as they choose between pitches made by two different entrepreneurs, each looking for capital and offering a big return. The options will be unusual – such as investing in undervalued vintage wine labels or betting it all on a high stakes one-night-only event. The duo will stake their life savings on one investment, and Brett will invest in the other.  It isn’t until the end of the episode that it is revealed how each investment performed.  Will the risk-taking couple win big or lose it all?  Do they out perform Brett?  Or does Brett prove he can make money just about anywhere? Read the rest of this entry »


G&M: Taming the dragon: Should the CBC muzzle Kevin O’Leary?

March 21, 2011

An insightful article by G&M’s Marsha Lederman. For the record.

Taming the dragon: Should the CBC muzzle Kevin O’Leary?
MARSHA LEDERMAN
From Saturday’s Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 18, 2011 4:30PM EDT
Last updated Friday, Mar. 18, 2011 5:39PM EDT

From the beach at a posh Bahamas hotel, Kevin O’Leary is assuring Amanda Lang, via Skype, that the Japanese earthquake and subsequent nuclear disaster – though horrific, he takes pains to point out – may be just what Japan needs for an economic turnaround. “I’m very bullish on nuclear right now,” O’Leary pronounces in attire that is more beach than business. “It’s a buying opportunity.”

This Lang & O’Leary Exchange moment last Monday is classic O’Leary: he’s a dragon, he’s a shark; breathing fire, gobbling up prey. Japan is in crisis, but he sees a business opportunity. Greed is good.

“When I’m discussing a decision around an investment, I’m not trying to make friends,” O’Leary said during an interview this week (not specifically referencing Japan). “I don’t care if people can’t take the truth.”

O’Leary, who also stars on CBC TV’s popular Dragons’ Den and its U.S. cousin Shark Tank on ABC, likes to describe himself as “slightly right of Attila the Hun.” He’s proud of his modus operandi: no holds barred, make no apologies.

Well, usually.

After O’Leary was called out by CBC ombudsman Kirk LaPointe for his now infamous use of the term “Indian giver” on The Lang & O’Leary Exchange, he did ultimately apologize. It was a rare exception for the loudmouthed entrepreneur who has become an important part of the CBC brand. Read the rest of this entry »