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.
Brett Wilson interview – Leaving Dragons’ Den, TV offers, Uno, Risky Business, Canoe Financial, Twitter, Facebook, and Maya WilsonMay 12, 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.
* 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)
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.
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 »
Check out this great Maclean’s article “In conversation: Brett Wilson “. I’ve excerpted three questions and answers that I found very insightful. [emphasis added]
“Q: You’ve challenged the CBC to dole out what you’ve called “constructive criticism as opposed to abuse” on the show. What prompted you to make that challenge?
A: I want it to respect the intelligence of the viewing community—you know, there isn’t a business school in the country that isn’t paying attention to this show. I was the lead deal-making dragon. I don’t know how many deals the other dragons have actually done or closed, but I managed to get 60 done on the show, and we’ve papered 30, and 31 should be done in the next couple weeks. That’s where my own fan base says, “Thank you for showing us how to do deals.” It’s easy to say, “No,” it takes no courage, no brains and no wallet to criticize. Criticism comes free. Action comes at some cost, and I’ve been pretty active. Will the 30 investments I’ve made all work out? Absolutely not. I suspect I’ll write off four or five in the next year because they’re stumbling. But there’s four or five that could become iconic brands in Canada because of the power of the entrepreneur. Any one of those top-five investments will pay for all 30. So I take a portfolio approach. Read the rest of this entry »
Of all the reports/interviews I could find today (Feb 28th, Monday) about Brett leaving Dragons’ Den, I want to say I enjoy the report (see below) from Calgary Sun‘s Lisa Wilton the most (very detail and insightful). Feel wonderful to be pleasantly surprised Calgary Sun.
Here is an excerpt from Calgary Sun “Wilson opens up regarding ‘Den” (I added the emphasis anyway even I ended up putting emphasis on everything! :) ),
“[ Q ] – Did your reason for leaving just come down to a contract negotiation breakdown?
Well, it started in December.
They gave me three weeks to sign the contract, take it or leave it.
There were some issues with the contract. First of all, they tried to cut the compensation. We negotiated that and got that solved. And they wanted to stop me from going on any other networks, so we negotiated that and got that solved.
Where we got stuck was on schedule. When I told them I had a family vacation and I wasn’t prepared to vary, they told me that wouldn’t work.
So, I politely advised that I would have to be out of the show because I wasn’t prepared to walk away from the vacation. It’s the first time I’ve had all three kids in one place in two years so I wasn’t going to walk away from that. It meant more to me than another season of the show.
Then CBC moved heaven and earth, and I really give them credit for it. Read the rest of this entry »
I wish Brett the best of luck (for him and for us fans) in finding a national broadcaster to partner and create “television programming focused on celebrating philanthropy in Canada“. I am curious if Brett will consider creating a TV program that showcase and encourage entrepreneurship in his Dragon with a heart way?
On a personal note, I have seen Brett in the last two years attending Banff World TV Festival (a few days in June in Banff where show creators, TV producers, broadcast executives from around the world attend to conduct businesses), it will be fun to see those business contacts help makes Brett’s show comes true.
DRAGON WITH A HEART LEAVES THE DEN
W. Brett Wilson leaves Dragons’ Den with challenge to CBC to evolve the show; continues his support for 30 Den deals and charity work for Canadians in need.
February 28th, 2011 – After three years on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, doing 60 plus deals in the Den and personally committing over $4.5 million in final deals with 30 Canadian entrepreneurs, W. Brett Wilson, the lead deal making Dragon, confirmed today that he will not return for the show’s next season. With his departure, Wilson is challenging both CBC and the Dragons to take encouraging Canadian entrepreneurship to another level and to constructively criticize, guide and sometimes finance the pitchers venturing into the Den.
Wilson also hinted at starting his own show to celebrate Canadian generosity through philanthropy and indicated he will continue to step-up his own work to raise money for Canadians in need.
“The contract re-negotiations were complicated. The key issues were my availability and the use of show branding to promote Dragons’ Den deals. We were very, very close to a resolution. But we fell short for several reasons, but mostly we just ran out of time, for which I’m obviously disappointed. I would have loved to have done at least one more season’s worth of helping Canadian entrepreneurs’ dreams come alive,” said Wilson. “I remain very much committed to the concept of Dragons’ Den, to the amazing Canadians that show up in the Den to be tested and challenged, and to the many deals I’ve done through the show. Every deal has been for an interesting product, but more importantly, all came from great entrepreneurs in the making, many of whom I continue to personally coach and actively promote.” Selected highlights of Wilson’s Dragons’ Den deals and his ongoing work to support them, as well a high level summary of imminent public appearances are in the Backgrounder below.
“When I joined Dragons’ Den, I told the producers I would continue – as I always have – to do deals with a social conscience and always with a tendency to invest in people over businesses, knowing that every business has speed bumps, and, that in the end, it’s ones’ key partners that are the primary determinants of the success or failure of an idea or a business,” Wilson said. Read the rest of this entry »
“Entrepreneur Brett Wilson is leaving the show Dragons’ Den at the end of the current season.
CBC-TV executive Julie Bristow says Wilson and the broadcaster could not agree on the terms of his contract.“
Brett is a great guy and one of my most favourite Dragon on the show. I love the fact that Brett managed to find ways to close most of his Den’s deals. I like many of the businesses he invests in and secretly wish I could also invest in some of them if I am given the chance! (I won’t name them publicly here. :)
I will add more to this article if I have more to report.
I know I will miss watching Brett on the show. Good luck and all the best Brett.
P.S. On a personal note, in June 2008, Brett was really nice in agreeing to be video interviewed by me and he answered every question I had. It was a great pleasure to know Brett before he appeared on the Den. And I can honestly say Brett has always been the same easy going, friendly and nice guy. Here are links to part 1 and part 2 of the video interviews.
Note: For more updates (latest Feb 28th update with links to Brett’s official press release), see cross posted entry here.