I had a chance this morning to preview the first episode of Dragon’s Den, the CBC “reality” show that puts entrepreneurs and angel investors together to try to make deals.
I’ve written before that I think this can really help raise the sophistication level of Canadian entrepreneurs. I also think it will help investors, by empowering them to be more skeptical (see previous post) and ask better questions.
Plus, what’s clear now is that this program is going to be lots of fun to watch.
It’s fast-moving and accessible, and parts are very, very funny. The interplay and tension between the five investors (dragons) and the pitchers is real, and it’s amusing as hell. I was afraid the editing would wipe out the substance of the show, but the propucers seem to have preserved both the mood and the content of the presentations I saw in the studio.
Here’s a sample of the snappy banter you’ll hear in Episode 1 (Wednesday night at 8). I’ll leave it to you to figure out who’s speaking – a Dragon or a pitcher.
“We’re willing to sell that (the family farm) to invest in this company, we believe in it so much.”
“This is a dark and sinister idea – I'm out.”
“Are you out of your minds? You think I would let you, as a consumer, suck 10 points off me on a debit transaction?”
“Don't sell the farm.”
“When the big guys say no, the value proposition better be crystal clear.”
“Those were there two best guys we’ve seen, with the worst idea.”
“We believe in the project so much we don't believe it’s a big risk.”
“It’s very difficult to listen to your idea because you're a very sarcastic and arrogant guy.”
“Power is what we’re selling. Energy, renewable energy forever, for Canada and the world.”
“I am going to have to wait till I am dead before you can give me a royalty stream.”
“The opportunity lost on my 7% - what are you going to give me for that? What are you going to pay me?”
“This has phenomenal potential for Canada and the world.”
“Then maybe you haven't explained it right.”
“It’s driven by the moon.”
“You just don't get it. That’s your problem.”
“When I look at such a massive item and think of government involvement, I think of money just being poured out for years.”
“When you come to somebody who is a potential investor, it is best not to sling out a slightly sarcastic remark at the end.”
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime.”
“I just don't want to be in business with you. I’m out.”
“Any business that would hire you is going to go out of business.”
“Maybe the concept is just too soon.”
“It seems you've burnt through a lot of money, and you haven't even gotten out of the gate yet.”
“I want to make mistakes that don't cost me money.”
“My eyes glaze over.”
“I’m out. And frankly I think you should be as well.”
“I think you should really look back on what you're trying to do here.”
“I will pay you to stay away from any business I’m invested in. And if you come near it, I’ll set that teddy bear on fire.”
“Thank you for sharing your opinions.”
"If you have control of [the business] and I have no say other than just some cash in it, I’m not interested.”
“You are in the 1% of people who have come here to present product that actually make sense. This is not a piece of crap. Somebody will buy this.”
“I think you'd be insane not to take this deal.”
“Come back and see what she decides, after the break.”
Corner Gas on Monday, Dragon's Den on Wednesday: Your CanCon Tip of the Week.