(Cross posted at Kempton with possible additional readers’ comments)
The following are my brief reviews and comments based on sneak peek of Dragons’ Den Season 3 episode 3 pitches/ideas. The lead-in description sentences are from CBC.
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT. If you haven’t checked out the sneak peek episode yet. Why don’t you subscribe and watch the episode first.
STOP NOW! Watch the sneak peek first!
Eco Anti Freeze – These entrepreneurs from Delta, BC run a business that repurposes anti-freeze in Vancouver and they’re looking to expand.
This money making business looks good in the beginning but then their pitch and the knowledge of their business just failed to impress. A note on pitching, it is the entrepreneurs’ duty and responsibility to organize and present a well honed pitch that works for the occasion. If the investors are confused by your pitch, don’t expect them to just sit there and let you go on. They will and should interrupt. Why? If they don’t interrupt, that means you’ve lost them and lost their interest and their minds are starting to wander off and not focus on your pitch. So let them interrupt but be very prepared to have good answers.
Now, the fact that there is no patented technologies mean that this business’ competitive advantage is not durable. If someone sees money to be made, they will come in and have the ability to take over the market if they wish to. Of course, the business may still be a good small business making decent money. It is just not something for investors.
Buster Rhino – Darryl & Beth Koster from Whitby, ON are pitching their award-winning authentic southern barbecue sauce.
$536K sales last year, pretty good but unfortunately they didn’t make any money last year after expenses. Now, the product tastes good, according to the Dragons but Jim, the most knowlegable food expert didn’t invest cause me concerns.
I like the fact that Darryl, by cold calling, managed to land the product on the shelf of Costco.
So 200K for 51% of the company allows Robert and Brett the control of the business direction of the company and how the money will be spent (wisely). So it may work out as an investment.
I have seen successful UK Drgaons’ Den entrepreneur having a successful sauce business. And the national exposure of Dragons’ Den (first runs now, and repeat broadcast later) should create some good word of mouth and generate some free marketing and publicity. How much it cost for a 6 minutes national TV non-ad? Well, probably more than $200K! So good luck to the entrepreneurs, Robert and Brett.
Back Buddy – Cheryl, Crystal & Kelly McEwen are a mother/daughter team from DeWinton, Alberta have invented the Back Buddy — a handle that allows a person to put on lotion on their back.
Thanks to the DD producers, I get to look at the two beautiful daughters. A hobby business at best.
Steemee Wonder – Jerry Coogan & Joane Daoust from Montreal, QC have created their own way of making steamed hot dogs.
Haven’t sold any units. Sorry, this is not really a business.
Amphibicraft – David Murphy from Prescott, ON has invented the Amphibicraft — a multi-functional all-terrain vehicle.
Here is an advice to inventors: Your coolest inventions may not be of use to anyone. And your friends and relatives’ opinions don’t count because they are trying to be NICE !!!!
Better, buy and read the auto-biography by one of the best inventor and businessman alive – James Dyson. To all the inventors and aspiring inventors out there, it will do you well by learning a thing or two from James. He is good but it took him a long time and a lot of trials.
Bubbie’s Best – Lorne Morein, Taneen Khan & Mark Rutledge from Toronto, ON want to sell their kosher baby food to a mass market.
Three recent business grad with an idea that is too small in the higher competitive food baby food business.
Ski and Skate – Giovanna Giancaspro from Montreal, QC has invented a training harness to teach children to ski and skate.
The amount money that is asked of is just silly and unrealistic. This is one horrible pitch but one that entrepreneurs can and should learn a thing or two in the “What Not To Do” department. The Dragons were right in grilling her and questioning her.
Quicksnap – David Reynolds from Halifax, NS has invented a snap for shoes which eliminates need for shoelaces.
Sold 15,000 units. Patented. Sold for $5 each. One entrepreneur put in $100,000 into the business.
$125K for 50%. Plus Brett will put an order (as a donation, I suppose) to buy one for each serving military members in Afghanistan.
Now, I have never made or sold anything to the military. But if the products are going to be officially used, don’t the clips (even small) have to pass some sort of DND testing process (e.g. temperature, chemical, durability, etc)?
Saxx – Like that story. The prize money. And the national and internet exposures must have helped. So this, to me, is a good reason to pitch on Dragons’ Den for some entrepreneurs.