I spent yesterday at CBC on the set of Dragons’ Den, the show that brings together aspiring entrepreneurs with multimillionaire investors – for fun, financing, and fireworks. Its two-week shooting schedule winds down today, and the show will run for 10 weeks (or possibly more) starting in October.
As a guest on the set, I can't tell you what specifically I saw. But crew members are crowing that more deals are being done than ever – and for much higher amounts. This could be the year that the Dragons earn their wings.
New dragon W. Brett Wilson (second from right), who made his money in the oil business in Calgary, this year replaces Lawrence Lewin, who has bowed out for health reasons. He brings a more thoughtful, purpose-driven approach to angel investing, so there have been fiery clashes with some of the more veteran dragons who have made a reputation as being solely driven by the “Mun-ey” (as Kevin O’Leary would say).
Since I can't give you specific tidings, here are some of the Dragon quotes I noted down during yesterday’s taping. They should give you a taste of what’s coming up in Season III.
“Financial abuse is a serious crime. You should be arrested.”
“You're solving a problem no one knows they have.”
“You don't take No for an answer.”
“What I like about me is my consistency.”
“There's something scary about your inability to accept No.”
“This business is worth only five times EBITDA because it doesn't grow.”
“I’m going to be dead in 20 years. I want my money back sooner.”
“If you worked for me, I’d fire you.”
“I'm just waiting for us to save the whales on this one.”
“How can you not know your margins?”
“You're asking me to minimize your risk. As an entrepreneur, sometimes you have to take the risk.”
“I like your product, I like your presentation. I don't like the deal.”
“As an officer in the public markets, there is no way I can be booty-licious.”
"You can't talk yourself out of a crazy valuation.”
“Now you make me crazy. Now you make me mad.”
“People are lazy. They won't input the data.”
“Your product is fantastic. Stop developing the product and start selling the product.”
“I beg you not to pursue this. It’ll be as slaughterfest.”
“In the nicest possible way, this is not a good business.”
I also enjoyed the Dragons’ interplay with each other.
“Is gigajoules a real word?”
“Are you out?” “As out as I can be.”
“People let you near their babies?”
“Could you be any more predictable?”
“Am I the only one still thinking?”
“I think this is the highest ratio of valuation to crap that we've ever seen.”
Looks like a fun ride.