Tag Archives: Dragons’ Den

CBC welcomes Wes Hall to Dragons’ Den for Season 16; Jim Treliving and Lane Merrifield depart

From a media release:

CBC today announced that a new Dragon will enter the Den for Season 16 of DRAGONS’ DEN. Wes Hall, Executive Chairman and Founder of Kingsdale Advisors and Founder and Chairman of The BlackNorth Initiative, brings a diverse range of expertise to the Den. Recently named to Maclean’s Power List ranking of the 50 most powerful people in Canada, Hall is an innovator and entrepreneur who is revered as one of Canada’s preeminent power brokers.

Hall strives to be a positive influence for emerging entrepreneurs. As a child in rural Jamaica, he was raised by his grandmother; he moved to Canada at 16, and set himself on track to become one of the most influential business people in Canada. As the Executive Chairman and Founder of Kingsdale Advisors, he has delivered an unparalleled track record of success leading some of the highest profile deals and activist campaigns in North America. Most recently, Hall made headlines when he founded The BlackNorth Initiative, which he believes can end anti-Black systemic racism by using a “business-first mindset” to create more opportunities for Blacks and all of those in the BIPOC community across Canada.

Hall joins Arlene Dickinson, Michele Romanow, Manjit Minhas and Vincenzo Guzzo, as beloved longtime Dragon Jim Treliving and virtual game changer Lane Merrifield depart the Den. After 15 seasons and an incredible history of betting on winners, Treliving plans to focus on his role as Chairman of Boston Pizza International, in addition to remaining active with his other commitments as a business advisor, investor, entrepreneur and dedicated philanthropist. Having recently sold his latest venture FreshGrade to the California company behind the world’s largest network of Montessori schools, Merrifield will be taking a sabbatical to enjoy some time focused on travel and adventures with his children.

“I have so much gratitude for the production team at CBC. As the first Dragon signed to the show, I have been so fortunate to have developed great friendships with my fellow Dragons and CBC staff,” said Treliving. “To the viewers of the show, I can’t thank you enough for your support and kindness over the years.”

“Our thanks to Jim and Lane for their commitment to Canadian entrepreneurs,” added Dettman. Once a Dragon, always a Dragon – and while we will miss them in the Den, we look forward to seeing what they do next.”

Hall’s track record extends beyond the corporate boardroom as well. As an entrepreneur, Hall is the owner of QM Environmental, a leading national environmental and industrial services provider with over 450 employees; he owns Titan Supply, a top manufacturer and distributor of rigging and wear products serving industries in the oil and gas, construction and transportation sectors; and Harbor Club hotel, one of St. Lucia’s premier resorts. He’s also a proud investor and supporter of many burgeoning small businesses.

Additionally, Hall is an instructor at the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto, where he teaches Black Entrepreneurship & Leadership in Canada, a first-of-its-kind course in North America that provides students with a deep understanding of the systemic anti-Black racism faced by Black entrepreneurs, the cultural impacts and how to navigate the system.

Known for his generosity, Hall leverages his business success to benefit others with a number of impactful charitable initiatives and serves as a Board Member with the SickKids Foundation, Pathways to Education, Toronto International Film Festival, and most recently, The Black Academy. He is the Founder and Chairman of The Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism and The BlackNorth Initiative, committed to the removal of anti-Black systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians.

Production on Season 16 of DRAGONS’ DEN’s will begin later this spring at CBC in Toronto. Tracie Tighe is executive producer and Molly Middleton and Amy Bourne are senior producers. Dianne Buckner hosts.


Link: New additions to Dragons’ Den seek to fan entrepreneurial flames

From CBC News:

Link: New additions to Dragons’ Den seek to fan entrepreneurial flames
Heads up to the investors on Dragons’ Den: a new colleague is looking to get under your skin this season.

“I just like bugging people,” said Vincenzo Guzzo, president and CEO of Quebec movie theatre chain Cinemas Guzzo.

“Most people don’t react well when the boat’s rocked, right? And they get off their game. So by disturbing everyone — or bothering everyone — I get everybody off their game and then I can do my deals in peace.” Continue reading. Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

CBC and Warner Bros. International Television announce third edition of format incubator

From a media release:

CBC and Warner Bros. International Television Production (WBITVP) today announced the return of the Format Incubator for a third round. Beginning today through April 23, Canadian producers are invited to submit ideas for original primetime unscripted formats with strong Canadian and international appeal. Format Incubator is a collaborative venture between CBC, WBITVP and the independent production community in Canada, aimed at boosting the creation of original, exportable television formats. Full submission details are available at cbc.ca/formatincubator.

The first program to come out of the Format Incubator initiative was Frantic Films’ factual series THE STATS OF LIFE which debuted as a pilot (1×60) in spring 2016, followed by a four episode half-hour series in fall 2017. The series reached over 2 million viewers* and has now been renewed for a second season. THE STATS OF LIFE is a fun, factual entertainment series that layers graphics of statistics over intimate stories of real people, exploring how households across the country compare to one another while allowing the viewer to discover where they themselves fit into the bigger picture. The format is represented in the international marketplace by Zodiak Rights, part of the Banijay Group (formerly Banijay International).

Produced by Proper Television and hosted by DRAGONS’ DEN investor Arlene Dickinson, UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT was selected as the winning format for the second year of the Format Incubator. Featuring Dickinson as she took budding entrepreneurs shopping for the right small business to fulfill their dreams, two back-to-back specials premiered in November 2016 and reached one million viewers on CBC.** Under New Management will be distributed internationally by Warner Bros. International TV Production.

Format Incubator is open to applicants with all levels of experience, from students to established producers, and will support up to three new unscripted pilots through the development and production process, including primetime broadcast on CBC. Submissions must be original, non-derivative primetime entertainment formats that are fun and family-friendly with the potential for multiple seasons and broad appeal for both Canadian and international audiences. Chosen formats will benefit from development and creative editorial support from CBC and Warner Bros. International Television Production, and an expedited distribution process to bring their concept to the international market.

Pilots will be financed by CBC and WBITVP, along with provincial and federal tax credits and CMF funding when applicable. Canadian producers will retain copyright of the program, and the format will be owned equally and jointly by the production company, CBC and WBITVP.

*Source: Numeris TV Meter, Nov. 24- Dec. 15, 2017, CBC, Total, Total Canada, AMA, generated by InfoSys+TV

**Source: Numeris TV Meter, November 16, 2017, CBC, Total, Total Canada, AMA, generated by InfoSys+TV



Dragons’ Den announces new season with 2018 audition tour

From a media release:

DRAGONS’ DEN is calling on all aspiring entrepreneurs to present their business pitches for a chance to be featured next season on CBC. Beginning in Toronto on February 10, auditions will be open to the public, as producers hit the road visiting Canadian cities coast-to-coast in search of the country’s best business ideas in need of a Dragon investment.

A full list of audition dates and cities are listed below, venues, timing and additional information can be found online via the DRAGONS’ DEN website .

The audition tour welcomes participants of all ages, with businesses at any stage of development. Hopeful entrepreneurs should prepare to pitch their concept to the DRAGONS’ DEN producers in five minutes or less. If they show the producers they have what it takes to pitch in the Den, they could be invited to Toronto to face the Dragons. Prospective pitchers are encouraged to apply online and bring a completed application form to the audition.

Producers will be on the lookout for entrepreneurs in the following cities:

Feb. 10 – Toronto, ON
Feb. 15 – Edmonton, AB
Feb. 15 – Nanaimo, BC
Feb. 16 – Windsor, ON
Feb. 17 – London, ON
Feb. 17 – Calgary, AB
Feb. 17 – Vancouver, BC
Feb 21 – Guelph, ON
Feb. 22 – Belleville, ON
Feb. 23 – Kingston, ON
Feb. 24 – Montreal, QC
Feb. 24 – Ottawa, ON
Feb. 24 – Barrie, ON
Feb. 28 – Oshawa, ON
Feb. 28 – Thunder Bay, ON
Mar. 2 – Fredericton, NB
Mar. 2 – Charlottetown, PEI
Mar. 3 – Hamilton, ON
Mar. 3 – Halifax, NS
Mar. 3 – Cranbrook, BC
Mar. 7 – Waterloo, ON
Mar. 8 – Kelowna, BC
Mar. 8 – Lethbridge, AB
Mar. 10 – Calgary, AB
Mar. 10 – Victoria, BC
Mar. 14 – Collingwood, ON
Mar. 14 – Prince George, BC
Mar. 14 – Whitehorse, YT
Mar. 16 – Abbotsford, BC
Mar. 17 – St. John’s, NL
Mar. 17 – Vancouver, BC
Mar. 21 – Regina, SK
Mar. 23 – Saskatoon, SK
Mar. 23 – Quebec City, QC
Mar. 24 – Montreal, QC
Mar. 24 – Winnipeg, MB
Mar. 24 – Niagara Falls, ON
Apr. 7 – Toronto, ON



Dragons’ Den: Arlene Dickinson teases her Season 12 return

A new night and a returning favourite are among the changes afoot for Dragons’ Den as CBC’s veteran reality series returns for Season 12. After exiting the program in 2015 to follow, as she said at the time on her Facebook page (“some big dreams, ones I want and need to chase”), Arlene Dickinson is back and ready to do battle.

Things have evolved on Dragons’ Den since she’s been gone. First, the series moves to Thursdays at 8 p.m. And second, three Dragons—Joe Mimran, Manjit Minhas and Michele Romanow—who moved in after Dickinson left. Jim Treliving and Michael Wekerle return for Season 12, meaning Dragons’ Den has six business moguls on a panel split evenly into a trio of men and women. What hasn’t been altered is the shows winning formula: budding entrepreneurs enter the studio and pitch their business idea to the Dragons in hopes of scoring a business deal.

We spoke to Dickinson ahead of Thursday’s two-hour season return:

One of the things you say during Thursday’s episode is that you left the show to found District Ventures. Did working on Dragons’ Den and having entrepreneurs in front of you influence your decision to begin this accelerator program?
Arlene Dickinson: That was certainly a big piece of it. After spending all of those years in front of people, particularly entrepreneurs in the health and food sector, and they just weren’t getting the traction that I thought they should. I kept thinking to myself, ‘Food and health is so critical in the world today and Canada has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in both areas, I’m going to find a fund that does this.’ I realized there wasn’t one and that really got me going and led me to go out and support that particular area.

You also mention in the episode that you were called and asked to return. Were you called every year since you left?
No, no. When I left, I was pretty certain I wanted to go on and do the things that I did and would need a couple of years to do that and they knew that too. I’m guessing [the producers] said, ‘Hey, maybe she’s pitchable now.’

It seems as though with every season the pitches continue to get better and more complete. Do you agree?
Yes. I think there are two things that have happened over the course of time. Maybe three. The first thing is that the pitchers are definitely better. There are bigger businesses and are coming in prepared and know who they want to speak to. And the female entrepreneurs are showing up with more confidence and a little bit more assured about what they can offer, what they do and are building a business and that’s awesome to see as well.

There are three ladies on the Dragons’ Den panel this season. Is that representative of what the business world is like now? Is there gender parity in the boardroom?
It’s certainly not that way in the senior boardrooms of corporations. It’s not anywhere near that. I think the percentage is somewhere around 17 to 20 per cent of females are in the boardroom. It’s still really still one in five. But entrepreneurs are a different story. There are more and more women going into entrepreneurial endeavours, so we’re seeing a lot more women starting up businesses and doing them home or going out and doing them as a career choice. It’s definitely growing for sure. I think more women than men, actually, are starting up businesses.

You hadn’t worked with Joe, Manjit or Michele on Dragons’ Den before. What’s that experience been like?
It takes a while to get used to the dynamic or everyone, so it took me awhile to understand where they were coming from and how they approached deals. There is a constant yin and yang because we’re competing for deals, we’re competing to be heard, we’re competing to talk. [Laughs.] So it takes awhile to pick up on each other’s style. It was certainly very interesting for me and kept me on my game and on my toes.

Were you, overall, impressed with the pitches you saw this season?
For sure. There were some really great deals this year. Some that I was really happy that I was able to get and some that I was not so happy that I didn’t get! [Laughs.] That’s kind of the way it happens. In terms of the calibre of the entrepreneurs, yeah, fantastic. There is so much innovation going on in Canada and innovation without an entrepreneur is just an idea.

What can you tell me about District Ventures?
District Ventures capital has raised about $30 million to go out and invest in entrepreneurial companies that are in the food, beverage and health and wellness consumer goods. We’re out in the market doing deals. I wish I had done this 10 years ago because it’s so much fun. It’s also hard work. The accelerator has become Canada’s top accelerator for health and wellness and it’s been a really interesting journey in learning about the mentoring and training and programming you need to give entrepreneurs what they need to be successful.

Dragons’ Den airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.