Dragons featured in Toronto Star – Kevin O’Leary, Arlene Dickinson, Jim Treliving, Robert Herjavec, Brett Wilson

March 15, 2010

Reporters from Toronto Star have done a series of extremely well written and insightful interviews (not your usually fluffy and all positive interviews) with the five CBC Dragons: Kevin O’Leary, Arlene Dickinson, Jim Treliving, Robert Herjavec, Brett Wilson.

I greatly enjoy all of these interviews. And wish I could be as good in conducting some of my own interviews with people.

Note: The included excerpts (in the order they were published in TorStar) are meant to give you different sides of the dragons that we don’t usually see on the TV shows.

* Kevin O’Leary: Canada’s unrepentant Dragon – O’Leary is breathing fire (and building his personal brand) on CBC TV’s business reality show Dragons’ Den. Here is an excerpt,

What made Kevin O’Leary rich was the moment he calls the “massive liquidity event,” that is the sale of LCI to toymaker Mattel Inc. for $4.2 billion (U.S.). O’Leary wasn’t the company’s largest shareholder, not by a long shot.

According to 1998 securities filings, Thomas H. Lee Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm, held nine million shares. The Tribune Co. was next up with five million. Bain Capital had 3.4 million. O’Leary, the company’s president, had just over a million shares. O’Leary says he had more than that.

Within months of the deal, announced in December 1998, Mattel issued warnings of unexpected losses at LCI. Read the rest of this entry »


Two loans and a Dragons chat (Season 5 episode 8)

March 15, 2010

Two Loans

I am happy to see Quemeez gets the loan she needed to expand her business.

And hear an update of the loan to Pro Elvis Jumpsuits. Plus watching Brett in his brand new Elvis jumpsuit!

The Dragons chat

It is fascinating to watch the “behind the pitch” chat between the Dragons when they were talking about the Slava Vodka pitch. Worth re-watching Season 5 Episode 8 just for that.


UseMyBank Trademark Opposed?

March 3, 2010

I am a big fan of CBC Dragons’ Den but passive viewing is not my thing. And when the story is interesting, I like to dig deeper and, over the years, I’ve interviewed Dragons, Dragons’ Den entrepreneurs and conducted followup interviews with the pitching entrepreneurs.

Tonight, after spending sometime (half an hour) of time to research, I was unable to find much external & independent information about UseMyBank (a Season 5, episode 6 pitch) to understand and appreciate their claims of profits on TV and their business.

Anyway, I “naturally” (it is naturally to me) turned to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office to do a trademark database search. (note: the patent search link is on the same CIPO page)

To my surprise, I found that UseMyBank‘s Trademark application (from an online search of “usemybank” or application number 1253705) is currently “opposed” by none other than Bank of Montreal. So I naturally wonder if BMO is doing any business with UseMyBank while BMO is trying to take down its trademark? How about other members of the big 5 banks?

Again, since the business name has been “Used in CANADA since December 12, 2002” (according to the trademark application), and the business has been a success according to the pitch on TV, I am a little surprised for the lack of external & independently verifiable information of it as a business. Any big city Canadian newspapers or magazines available online will help me a lot but I found none.

May be someone can help me here. I am, to say the least, confused about UseMyBank as a business. Can anyone send me links to some external & independent sources of information re UseMyBank?

Note: You can download and read the Trademarks Regulations (current to Feb 2010) here. Of interest are rules 35 – 42.

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Mar 4th, 7:42am Update: Please see followup comments here.