Here’s a phrase I never thought I’d see: Dragons’ Den, Season 6.
The CBC’s hit business show begins open auditions for the next fall season this Saturday, Feb. 12, at the CBC broadcast centre in Toronto. Aspiring entrepreneurs and inventors are invited to show up between 10 am and 5 pm to demo their products or ideas for a chance to appear on the show and pitch to the Dragons themselves.
The celebrity Dragons are unlikely to be at the audition, so you can expect to meet a corps of steely-eyed Deputy Dragons, one of which will be me. I think this will be my fourth year of interrogating potential pitchers. If you're not prepared, don't expect me to be very nice.
Pitchers are expected to sound smooth and professional, and to be able to answer tough questions like:
• Why would anyone buy this?
• What kind of sales have you had so far? (If none, we may ask “Why?”
• How much money would you like from the dragons? What would you use it for?• How much equity in your business are you prepared to give up in return for this investment?
Did I mention that you only have five minutes? And I usually interrupt people and start asking questions at about the 30-second mark. (Dragons are impatient beasts.)
If you can't make it this Saturday in T.O., the show’s producers are hitting the road to come to you. This year they intend to hit a whopping 36 cities, which is a testament to the success of the show and the entrepreneurial abilities of Canadians.
The roadshow begins Feb. 17 in Victoria and ends March 28 in Yellowknife (how cool is that?). The final audition will be held again in Toronto on April 2. (Some dates may be subject to change.)
Click here for the full schedule: http://www.cbc.ca/dragonsden/audition/
Interested entrepreneurs are asked to apply online at www.cbc.ca/dragonsden. You'll save time by bringing your completed application form to the audition.
Canadians have fallen in love with Dragons' Den. The January 12th special “Second Chance” episode drew a series high of nearly 2.2 million viewers – a higher audience than many U.S. series get, with 10 times the population.
If you love the show, you may be interested in a behind-the-scenes look at how the show started – including how Kevin O’Leary insulted Robert Herjavec the first time they met. Click here for the full story.
And here’s a cool blogpost by show consultant Sean Wise explaining where so many pitchers go wrong.
Hope to see you Saturday!