- BC Games
Locals pitch products on Dragon's Den
One North Okanagan man stood before the Dragons and pitched a waste compactor.
Another came before the Feared Five and introduced them to a product designed to help fruit growers.
You can see how things turned out for both men on the popular CBC-TV show Dragon’s Den on the same episode this Wednesday.
The Dragon’s Den features would-be entrepreneurs pitching a product to the Dragons, a group of five individuals, and asking the Dragons to invest their money in the company or product.
Both Mark Hanson of Armstrong and Frank Deiter of Vernon are contractually not allowed to say how much money they asked the Dragons to invest in their products and company, nor are they allowed to say how things turned out.
You have to tune in Wednesday at 8 p.m. to see.
“Overall, I’d rate the experience a 10,” said Hanson, who is president of Modern Waste Products, a company based out of Woodstock, Ont. “It was excellent, I really enjoyed it. I was nervous up to the point I walked down the stairs, then I felt at home.”
Hanson pitched the Dragons his company’s BinPak, a self-contained compaction bin that makes food waste and trash disposal safer, easier and better for the environment than using conventional six-yard waste bins, with less hassle, less risk to staff and less cost to businesses.
“The taping went really well,” said Hanson. “I did about a 40-minute-long presentation. You have your presentation all worked out, but as soon as you start in they fire you questions and get you off track from what you were planning on doing. From there you’re on your own answering their questions.”
Asked if any of the Dragons terrified him beforehand, Hanson said he’s been asked since the taping in April how Kevin O’Leary was to him.
“He’s the one that always acts mean to certain people and makes you cringe at some of the things that come out of his mouth,” said Hanson. “In this case, he was very interested and almost very cordial and polite. He had strong, straight down-to-earth questions, but I was able to answer them and he had no reason to be rude.”
Deiter founded Okanagan Spirits in 2004 to transform the Okanagan’s plentiful fruit harvest into top quality fruit brandies and liqueurs. The distillery has since garnered world-class status and international recognition.
In 2011, Deiter developed the Mobile Juice Factory to give fruit growers a way to significantly increase the value of their apple crop and to create 100 per cent pure, locally produced juice for the community.
The Mobile Juice Factory is what Deiter served up to the Dragons.
“It’s pretty intimidating but the whole set up is quite something,” said Deiter. “If you have something that makes sense, it becomes a little easier a few seconds in. I felt I could at least make a case.”
Deiter said every year the Okanagan Valley grows nearly one billion apples and not all of them are fit for sale to the fresh fruit market.
With this Mobile Juice Factory, thousands of apples that are not making the super high-grade due to size and colour imperfections are being squeezed into fresh, delicious apple juice.
“We have tested the process and the market for the past two years, and have many happy customers in the valley,” said Deiter. “We are now ready to promote our Mobile Juice Factory as an excellent investment opportunity for entrepreneurs across Canada and the U.S.A. that are looking to start a business.”
Neither man was aware they were going to be on the same show together.
Deiter taped his appearance in late March, while Hanson’s show was taped a week later in April.