“…the most REAL business EVER in the Den!” Robert Herjavec, Dragons’ Den investor.
“That’s a cool tool.” Jim Treliving, Dragons’ Den investor.
On January 6, 2010, we were featured in a special Celebrity Edition of the CBC hit reality show, Dragons’ Den. Part way through my pitch I was stopped, only to turn around and see home decor guru, Debbie Travis come walking through a wall of smoke. Surprise!
The smoke cleared, I continued with my pitch and ended the show with absolutely amazing results. Three dragons jumped on board with our idea of an urban super-tool (Jim, Arlene, and Robert). My original offer was $200,000 for 10% of the company. I walked away with $500,000 for 25% making kelvin one of the few companies to ever get more than what was originally asked for.
If that wasn’t enough, Debbie Travis agreed to endorse kelvin.23 and film infomercials. How cool is that?
Near the end of final negotiations with the Dragons, just weeks after the show aired, the deal hit a bump in the road and talks stopped. It was disappointing but ok, as sales were already on the fly. We were in Canadian Tire and picked up further distribution in Canada and Norway.
Three months later in a sudden twist of fate, Dragon investor W. Brett Wilson came across an article explaining the demise of the original deal and shot me an e-mail to see if I was still interested in a partner. Within a few short weeks, we got over the speed bump that deterred the others and a new partnership was formed. Brett and his team have been amazing to work with. The additional financing has allowed us to increase sales further adding Marks Work Wearhouse, Home Depot, London Drugs and RONA, among others, to our list of esteemed customers.
Dragons’ Den was definitely one of the top highlights of my inventor-preneur journey to date. The exposure has been incredible, and the show has contributed so much to my success. Who knows, maybe it’ll go full circle, and I’ll be sitting in a dragon chair one day.