Roughly 35 people showed up at Okanagan College Wednesday with the hopes of pitching their idea to producers for the TV show Dragon’s Den.
Open auditions are being held all across Canada, with producers expecting approximately 2,000 applicants for the show.
“For Kelowna we do really well, considering the size of the city,” says Nicole MacKay, an associate producer with the show.
“It’s actually comparable to our Vancouver and Calgary auditions, and Toronto will see about 70. You guys have some good entrepreneurs here and a lot of good ideas.”
Every city tends to bring out different types of ventures depending on the local market. In Kelowna, producers say there have been lots of outdoor activities like golf and boating.
Based on the number of Kelowna applicants, MacKay estimates that around 10 people may go through to the filming process, but that doesn’t mean they will make it on TV.
“We basically ask about 200 people to come and film, and then of those 200, we actually get about 100 that make it to air. And that’s from all across Canada,” she adds.
In the end, it all comes down to an individual’s passion and their ideas, and how enthusiastic they are during the pitch.
“There’s never one thing in particular we’re looking for. Obviously we like to get a good amount of really established businesses, ones we know the dragons are going to be fighting over,” she says.
“We’re always looking for a few really high-end businesses … that being said, having it at the prototype stage is equally as great, and any stage of business is great, as long as you have the personality to carry that business.”
Some of the Kelowna hopefuls include Donnie Ungaro from Culinary Ink. He pitched his electric food bike and came away confidant that he will move on to the next step. It’s a full kitchen on two wheels, with the company partnering with charities to start micro-social ventures.
Others were Rob Debuc and his Photo Burns flipcards of funny quotes or comments that can be placed in the background of photos, Kevin James Anderson and his RubberCane that acts as an assisted mobility aid, and the Boned broth company who hope to sell people on the many health benefits and nutrients that are found in soup bones.