Entrepreneurs tame feared Dragons

Vernon’s Frank Deiter and Armstrong’s Mark Hanson had the Dragons reaching for their cheque books looking to making deals

Two North Okanagan entrepreneurs tamed the dreaded Dragons.

Vernon’s Frank Deiter and Armstrong’s Mark Hanson had the Dragons reaching for their cheque books looking to making deals after their respective presentations on the hit CBC-TV show Dragon’s Den Wednesday.

Deiter, joined on the show by his son, Marlow,  was on the final segment where the pair pitched Deiter’s Mobile Juice Factory which gives 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.

After sampling Deiter’s juice product, Dragons Bruce Croxon (Internet mogul, founder of Lavalife), Jim Treliving (Boston Pizza and Mr. Lube franchise baron), David Chilton (author of The Wealthy Barber), Kevin O’Leary (investment guru) and Arlene Dickinson (marketing firm CEO) were clamouring for a piece of the $300,000 in exchange for 50 per cent of the company Deiter asked for.

Clamouring so much that a frustrated Croxon couldn’t get a word in edgewise and threw his ledger book.

“Did I do something wrong?” Deiter asked on the show.

“No, it’s just that we’re all so excited about your product which would be a huge help to the agriculture industry in our company,” said Dickinson.

It was Treliving who offered Deiter what he was asking before Chilton and O’Leary teamed up for the same offer though O’Leary had told Deiter he hated the fact his product was “seasonal work only.”

Deiter accepted Treliving’s deal…on the show. Since then, no deal has been finalized.

“What Jim and his group want from me is that I deliver the whole package,” said Deiter from Spain Thursday, before he watched the program via Internet. “That means I should be the guy who runs everything including administration or have the people and manage the company, and that’s not what I agreed to.”

Negotiations with Treliving are still ongoing. Still, Deiter was thrilled for the exposure for his mobile juice company.

“The fact the five Dragons wanted part of the deal is huge and it’s a product that makes sense,” he said.

Hanson, who is president of Modern Waste Products based out of Waterloo, Ont., was only on the show for about three minutes, but was featured in a segment that proclaimed “the Dragons know a good deal when they hear one.”

He presented the Dragons with his company’s BinPak waste compactor that transforms waste management and offers businesses a way to save on their waste removal costs as well as enhancing workplace safety.

The BinPak is the same size as a standard waste bin but holds up to six times the amount of trash.

Hanson asked for $150,000 for six per cent of the business. Croxon and Chilton teamed up to offer $150,000 for nine per cent, which Hanson accepted on the show.

Like Deiter, the deal has not been finalized.

“We still talk to each other, and they’re still very interested in our business, but they had really big deals come through that was taking all their time this summer, and they said, ‘we really can’t do yours justice and we’re going to let yours go for now,’” said Hanson Thursday.

“They’ve been very supportive and we’re chatting with them often, it’s been a really good relationship and experience but we haven’t put any deal together yet.”

With 70 people at the Hanson house in Armstrong to view the show, he admitted he was disappointed his 40-minute taping was reduced to less than three minutes.

“It was good, short and sweet, but it was a positive experience,” said Hanson, who has no doubt the TV exposure will be a boon for his company.

“By being featured on Dragons’ Den, we hope we can discover a few motivated distributors for the BinPak,” he said. “We have been able to increase the general knowledge and visibility of the BinPak through the show and we are optimistic that this has created the opportunity for us to engage potential corporate partnerships in the future.”

An encore episode of Dragons’ Den airs Sunday, Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. on CBC.