Abbotsford News

Dragons' Den audition in Abbotsford

The Dragons
The Dragons' Den consists of (from left) Jim Treliving, Kevin O'Leary, Arlene Dickinson, Bruce Croxon, host Dianne Buckner and David Chilton.
— image credit: CBC Television

The hit CBC Television show Dragons' Den will hold open auditions in Abbotsford on Friday, March 1.

The auditions run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Best Western Plus Regency Inn and Conference Centre, 32110 Marshall Rd.

No experience is necessary, and participants of all ages are encouraged to audition.

Dragons' Den gives aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their businesses to a panel of wealthy Canadian business moguls, known as the Dragons.

All interested entrepreneurs should be prepared to pitch their business in less than five minutes. Selected candidates will be invited to face the Dragons when the upcoming season is filmed in Toronto.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the auditions have been held in Abbotsford.

Candidates are asked to apply online at cbc.ca/dragonsden/auditions/ and bring the printed application form to the audition.

Abbotsford participants have been prominent on the TV show in past years.

Last year, local auditioners who were approved for filming included Reg Wall and his WienerStick barbecue accessory; Gary Baars of TNT Agri-Services, which sells and delivers hay; Paul Martens with his odourless toilet called Ventex; Robert Stone of Mrtaxes.ca; and Daniel Litchy of D-light Solution.

Joel Primus, president and CEO of the underwear company Naked Inc. has appeared several times on the show. Originally, he was turned down by the Dragons. However, the last time he appeared, it was Primus who turned the Dragons down. He had asked for $250,000 for a 17 per cent share of the company. Four of the dragons were willing to ante up the funds for 50 per cent of Naked, to which Primus countered with 25 per cent. Dragons Arlene Dickson and Jim Treliving then came back with an offer of 30 per cent, which was declined.

Naked underwear has now expanded into the U.S. market, and its accounts include Holt Renfrew, Boys’ Co, Got Style and Kitson in L.A.

Abbotsford’s Neil Currie and his partner cut a deal with infamous Dragon Kevin O’Leary in season four of the hit reality show Dragon’s Den. The deal eventually fell through but their company, Vantagewire.ca, an online real-time stock quote website, continues to thrive and keeps stock watchers abreast of what is happening in the market.

In 2007, Abbotsford physiotherapist Greg Bay appeared on the show, pitching his product Coreshorts, a product to help athletes recovering from groin injuries. While he did not secure a deal with the dragons, Bay later signed a deal with the sports garment company Under Armour.

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