Dragons’ Den Season 4 episode 5 review

October 29, 2009

Deal one

Product: Yummy Dough
Pitcher Timothy Kimber & Stefan Kaczmarek
Hometown Ottawa, ON
Ask 500K for 25%
Description This cross-Atlantic business duo hope to take a bite of the toy market with their edible modeling clay.


I think the offer is 500K investment (in Canada) for 10% revenue until the 500K is recouped and then the perpetual (i.e. forever) royalty rate is reduced to 3.5%.

I think Kevin (?) said it right, after an appropriate Canadian advertising and marketing campaign, the success or failure of the business may be quickly found. As a side note, in our age of H1N1, when the kids (and adults) are told to wash their hands and don’t put stuff in their mouth, I don’t know enough about children and parenting to tell if much will be changed. May be, may be not. Don’t know enough to say.

Mind you, if the dough is played in a home environment where hands can be washed first and then the dough be put into an oven to be baked into cookies, may be that will be ok for parents. Again, I don’t know.

At least the dough is selling in Germany. And some current sales data and trends can be obtained. For example, it will be interesting to see if and by how much sales have been affected by H1N1.

Nice Yummy Dough website.


Deal two

Product: Pro Elvis Jumpsuits
Pitcher Eleanor & Tim Boetticher
Hometown Nanaimo, BC
Ask 30K for 30%
Description A husband and wife duo from Nanaimo, BC don’t want to sing the blues over their business that costumes Elvis impersonators worldwide.


I love this “feel good” deal with Brett and Robert each investing $5,000 for 5% each and providing a loan of $20K.

Eleanor does great tailoring work and her Elvis jumpsuits are so cool looking and well-made that dressing up as Elvis came across my mind briefly. If the due diligence of the business and financials checks out as I suspected, I am pretty sure Eleanor & Tim will work their butts off to honour their loans and make it a money making business in time.

Check out some pictures of their beautifully hand-made Elvis jumpsuits.

Good luck Eleanor & Tim, I hope you make some good money.


BBC Dragons’ Den host interviews Warren Buffett

October 26, 2009

Video of BBC Dragons’ Den host and reporter Evan Davis interviews Warren Buffett. Insightful video. Enjoy.

“Warren Buffett talked to Evan Davis at the headquarters of his company, Berkshire Hathaway, in Buffett’s native Omaha, in the mid-Western state of Nebraska.

Buffett shares his ideas about the current financial crisis, his investment philosophy, and his one indulgence – his private jet.

The Money Programme special ‘The World’s Greatest Money Maker: Evan Davis meets Warren Buffett’, Monday, 26 October, on BBC Two at 2100.”

[via CNBC]

Dragons’ Den Season 4 episode 4 review

October 21, 2009

Deal one

Product: Fortune Teller Card Game
Pitcher Cary Lucier
Hometown Windsor, ON
Ask 150K for 10%
Description A Windsor, ON casino dealer hopes the Dragons will take a gamble on his new black jack game.


Brett offer: 150K for 100% of company and 50% royalty, money totally contingent on Cary Lucier striking deals with casinos. On some level, the risk can be pretty much held to minimum as Cary needs to make some money in deals with casinos first.

If the are totally in favour of the casinos, I don’t know how long will it take for the gamblers to catch on and not play it.


Deal two

Product: MyCellMyTerms.com
Pitcher Kye Husbands & Paul Peic
Hometown Toronto, ON
Ask 400K for 33%
Description These Toronto, ON entrepreneurs hope to call in a dragon investment for their website that finds clientele the best deal in cell-phone contracts.


Brett and Arlene offered 100K cash each and 200K in marketing services. I don’t remember hearing the profit margin on the show so I am not sure if this is a good deal or not. With the launch of more affordable wireless services like Wind Mobile in 2010 (?), I am not sure how sustainable this type of business is.

P.S. Here is an update in the National Post.

Dragon can fly !

October 15, 2009

Brett Wilson with pro climbing partner Byron Smith
Source: digital photo by Larry MacDougal for The Globe and Mail
Calgary, Alta.—14/10.2009—CBC Dragons Den’s, businessman and entrepreneur Brett Wilson (left) repels down the side of the Calgary Tower with pro climbing partner Byron Smith (right) during an event to raise funds for the charities called The Sir Edmund Hilary Foundation of Canada and also AARC (Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre). The downtown area oif Calgary can be seen behind.

Dragons’ Den Season 4 episode 3 review

October 15, 2009

Two deals tonight going forward to the due diligence stage. See below for my comments.

Good to read from Brett’s Twitter feed that CBC Dragons’ Den has 1.3 million views for season 4 episode 1, and then 1.5 million for episode 2. The show should make some good and needed money for CBC (and CBC can really use the money).


Product Miners Lunchbox
Pitcher Catherine Langin

Hometown Sudbury, ON
Ask 150K for 30%
Description A Sudbury woman hopes to whet the Dragons’ appetite with her father’s historic metal lunchbox.

My Comments: 50K cash and 100K loan (provided with good terms and protection) should be a good deal for Brett. The deal is probably also good for Catherine to get some cash out (though not much) and a needed loan to make the products (I think?). I hope this will be a win-win deal for Catherine and Brett.

Note: Depending on how the loan is structured, and how well the company is run, I am not sure if it will be a win for Brett if he ends up owning the brand if the company defaults on the loan. Lets think positive. :)


Product Cavena Nuda
Pitcher Scott Sigvaldson

Hometown Winnipeg, MB
Ask 250K for 20%
Description A Winnipeg, MB farmer needs seed money to bring his new grain from the field to the food industry.

My Comments: 250K for 50% of the company (?). Jim’s Boston Pizza and food industry experience should work out great for Scott. This deal has all the ingredients for a win-win outcome. I am interested to see how this deal will turn out. Best of luck to Scott and Jim.

Brett to Interview George W. Bush

October 10, 2009

What an interesting opportunity for Brett to chat with President Bush on Oct 21st, 2009. Whether one agrees with or disagree withPresident Bush’s actions and decisions during his presidency, it must be a great opportunity to chat with him on stage.

I wonder what are the themes and types of questions Brett will be asking President Bush?

P.S. I just noticed that both have initials of “W”. :)

Dragons’ Den Season 4 episode 2 review

October 8, 2009

Last night episode of Dragons’ Den was pretty enjoyable for me. Here are a few observations,

* The deals the Dragons have been proposing are a lot more “creative” these days and, in some sense, less “risky” for them. Many of the offers contained loans and these loans can help the entrepreneurs as long as they are structured correctly and the interest charged “fairly” for the type of business/risk.

* The warrants and options work great for the Dragons but, very often as seen on episodes 1 & 2, much less so for the entrepreneurs. Some of the deals involving warrants and options proposed by Kevin in the first two episodes this season sounded more like daydreaming or creative drafting in a business school finance class.

* I admire Arlene‘s insight and offering of marketing services as part of deals she proposed. At the same time, I will be showing my bias and less than honest if I don’t mention these marketing services are less costly to Arlene (and with a built-in normal profit margin). Part of me also sees this as a way to get around the Dragons’ Den rule of needing all the cash asked for or “no deal”. Oh well. Looking at this from another angle, when I try to negotiate a better deal with a company, I usually don’t accept “store credit” unless I have a fixed-term contract with the company already (i.e. I have to pay them regardless of the current deal).

* Modrobes looks interesting and if the due diligence pans out, the deal (loan & equity) Brett has may turn out to be a good one. I look forward to learning more about the business from Brett.

* While I wrote that I don’t want to review businesses with failed pitch, I can’t help but talk about Jim & Kim Georgopoulos of Freeze N’ Snip. $250K spent in developing a final product with very limited market (certainly not in the scale that matches the $250K spent) was a big enough hole that Jim wants to fill and prove that the whole thing was not a mistake. But sadly it was a mistake. Kim, being a dutiful wife, had to support Jim whole heartedly on TV (this is why wife/husband is exempted from testify against her/his spouse in court).

I hope Jim will snap out of the freezie snipper idea as it is not really a business.