CBC Dragons’ Contact Info

October 21, 2008

Some people have tried to get in touch with the Dragons by leaving comments in this blog. Well, you can now contact the Dragons directly as their bio & contact info are publicly listed so I don’t feel bad reposting them here. Good luck.

* Arlene Dickinson
email: arlened@openminds.ca
web: http://www.openminds.ca

* Brett Wilson
email: wbrettwilson@firstenergy.com

* Jim Treliving
email: jim.treliving@bostonpizza.com
web: http://www.bostonpizza.com

* Kevin O’Leary
email: info@olearyfunds.com

Note: Robert Herjavec’s contact info is not publicly listed in the above link thus it is not included here.


Dragons’ Den Season 3 episode 4 review

October 20, 2008

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Moxie Trades – Entrepreneur Marissa McTansey from Oakville, ON is the owner/operator of Moxie Trades which creates workwear for women.

Asking for 600K for 49%. Pink and light blue female sizes and styles work outfit. Sales 600K in last 2 years.

Jim encouraged the entrepreneur to reject a deal (600K for 75%) from Brett and Robert. No deal.

I don’t know about the apparel to comment but I suspect it is very competitive.

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Martini and Manicures – Martin Younan has set up shop in London, ON where his business serves martinis while providing manicure and pedicure services.

Million dollar business. If I could drink that martini, may be I will feel better, but otherwise another “entertainment” segment. Sorry, waste of time to look at as a business.

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Hardbite – Sepp Amsier from Maple Ridge, BC wants to sell his trans-fat and glueten free potato chips to a larger market.

Sepp is a Swiss trained chef. Tasty chips. In store for 5 years. Sales of 125K last year? Whole food, Organic Planet.

350K for 20%

Jim (and Robert?) made a deal for 350K for 50% Want a say in US market. And need key decisions making power.

How much is a bag of these chips?

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Pristine Cart – Sergeo Hristovski from Barrie, ON is the inventor of Pristine Cart which sanitizes dirty shopping carts as you push them through the device.

Not a business. Sad to see the entrepreneur wasted $120K of his money on the idea.

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Whale Tail – Myrna Brayford from Alliston, ON is the inventor of the Whale Tale, which holds books open for you while you read.

It is patented? Sorry, bad idea.

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Walk and Rol – Gerald & Magella LaPierre from Quebec City, QC invented the Walk n’ Roll which aids mobility for patients with foot and lower leg injuries.

Oh no …

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Jane Strap – Carol Clay from Nanaimo, BC has invented the Jane Strap which provides extra support for large breasts while you work out.

Yes. My special thanks to the CBC producers for showing us the breasts. (I won’t repeat my complain of wasting my time, ah, after all, other viewers may enjoy the breasts more than me complain about wasting my time.)

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Tidy Trailers – Rob Livingstone & Oliver Wolf from Vancouver, BC want to franchise their growing trash removal service.

Asking for 150K for 30%. This business compete on price alone.

Jim made a deal: 150K for 50%.

If the entrepreneurs are making $100K per person (i.e. $200K for the business) each year, why do they want to sell? I question their business acumen in making such a bad deal for themselves. I also doubt if this business is a good one to get into if their strength is just “lower price”.


James Caan from UK Dragons’ Den on BBC Breakfast

October 18, 2008

Here is James Caan from UK Dragons’ Den on BBC Breakfast. Interesting interview.


The Hour: Kevin O’Leary & Robert Herjavec with George

October 17, 2008

Here is an interesting The Hour chat of Kevin O’Leary & Robert Herjavec with George.

By the way, here is the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics winner Paul Krugman’s video Google Tech Talk on the subprime mess. And the Global Financial Crisis in the words of Nassim “Black Swan”Taleb (YouTube clip of his BBC discussion).

HT: DD Blog


Dragons’ Den Season 3 episode 3 review

October 11, 2008

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(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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)?

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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.


CBC Dragons’ Den Sneak Peek

October 11, 2008

After sneak peeking two episodes of Dragons’ Den before it airs by simply subscribing to CBC’s Dragons’ Den newsletters, I am sold.

I think “subscribe to sneak peek” is a great way to draw Dragons’ Den fans’ attention and even love the show more to a dangerous level! I love these sneak peeks.

Now, I think CBC is also smart in opening up its shows (DD, Fifth Estate, The Hour, etc) this way to keep the shows’ fans informed and engaged. Keeping the audience and spreading to new audiences (friends of fans) when a particular show episode is really good and the links are forwarded.

If you live in Canada, subscribe to CBC’s Dragons’ Den newsletters and have a sneak peek of the next episode to be aired Monday.


Dragons’ Den Season 3 episode 2 review

October 6, 2008

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(Cross posted at Kempton with possible additional readers’ comments)

The following are my brief reviews and comments on the Dragons’ Den Season 3 episode 2 pitches/ideas. The lead-in description sentences are from CBC.

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CBC has decided to try something new by putting the episode on the internet before it is shown on TV. As a fan, I like the idea of watching the show before it is shown on TV. The fact that I still have the TV tuned at Dragons’ Den is a proof that it didn’t hurt the TV rating (in my household). :)

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Canada Caps – Walter Bujalski from Toronto, ON says that his patriotic hats could be to Canada what the Sombrero is to Mexico.

Sorry, the cap looks ugly. And it is not really a business.

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E-Student (estudent.ca) – Kathy DaSilva from Victoria, BC has developed software to help children learn.

250K for 30%. What Kevin put on the table was not an offer. So the only deal is from Arlene’s. Good to hear Kathy has a viable business with good sales ($500,000) already. The price Arlene offered (250K for 50%) might have been too low, but Kathy probably can use some good help from Arlene to help grow the business. Good luck Kathy.

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ePawn World – Craig Benfield from Montreal, QC wants to take pawn shops online where people can buy & sell items they would normally bring to a retail pawn shop.

50K for 50%. A waste of the viewers’ time.

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Lipstixx – Diane Mackie from Barrie, ON has developed this top-coat application designed to keep lipstick on longer.

Sorry, not interested. Cosmetic is just too competitive like the dragons said.

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AFAST Supertank – Jason Eastwood from Calgary, AB wants to take old army tanks and convert them into fire fighting machines.

Jason seems to be quite nice but the Dragons’ critiques are very valid and I think the fire-fighting tank is just way too expensive to be practical.

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Curling Stones – Joe Dumouchelle from Windsor, ON has invented a curling stone with wheels so you can play on dry surfaces.

Cute but I don’t see a business here.

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Rim Roller – Paul Kind from Russell, ON has invented a device which rolls up the rim on coffee cups.

150K for 25%. Kevin’s comment is right that it is not to the coffee shops advantage to have customers claim more prizes. Paul has made $100,000 from this tool. May be Paul has a small business here.

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Aerial Angles – Allison Williams from Ottawa, ON & Zay Weaver are fire eating acrobatic street performers who are ready to entertain the Dragons.

Nice to look at but I am very surprised that Brett made a $250,000 investment for half of the business. Brett’s view is that in a portfolio of entertainment and sports businesses, he can afford to have some failed businesses and as long as some of them are hits, then he might make money off the portfolio as a whole. For me, this is too risky a business and for $250,000 is just way too much to pay, in my humble opinion. The likes of Cirque du Soleil and creative and visionary people like Guy Laliberté are hard to come by. Mind you, I wonder if the publicity from Dragons can bring enough additional business for the Aerial Angles?

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9th Oct, 2008 Update: Allison left me a comment with their website, so I have added their website and I also decided to include this pretty cool promo video. Good luck to them all.