Langford residents Kim Newhaus and Chris Cordray hold their Delivery Mates pizza delivery kits at the Inn at Laurel Point while waiting for their turn at the Dragon’s Den audition.

Innovators line up to woo Dragons

Chris Cordray hoped his small and compact delivery bag invention would impress producers from CBC’s Dragons’ Den

With just two days to work on his pitch, Chris Cordray hoped his small and compact delivery bag invention would impress producers from CBC’s Dragons’ Den TV show last Saturday morning.

“I’m nervous for sure because I’ve seen how (the dragons) tear apart people who don’t know their information, know their own product,” said Cordray, a Langford resident who hoped to stand out among the dozens of entrepreneurs, inventors and artists who auditioned at the Inn at Laurel Point.

Cordray and the other Dragons’ Den hopefuls will learn within the next week and a half whether they’ll be invited to pitch their ideas to the dragons in front of the cameras in Toronto, beginning April 12.

The competition is fierce.

Between 3,500 and 4,500 people audition for the show every year. Of those 250 are invited for filming, though only half will appear on the show.

An even smaller number of presenters will come away with a deal with one or more of the wealthy investors: Kevin O’Leary, Jim Treliving, Arlene Dickinson, Robert Herjavec and Bruce Croxon.

Cordray, who is currently working as a Domino’s Pizza delivery driver, was inspired to create his DeliveryMate bag by customers who regularly asked if he had pop or dips when he brought pizzas to their door.

Delivery drivers can pack the DeliveryMate bag with a debit machine as well as extra products that can be sold at the door, Cordray said.

If his pitch to producers is successful, he plans to ask the dragons for $100,000 for half of his company, DeliveryMate Enterprises.

“(The dragons) have huge connections,” he said. “I’ve been having trouble trying to get into bigger pizza franchise corporate offices to talk to (executives). Call them, they don’t call you back. Email them, they don’t email you back.”

“If you’re somebody then they’re going to talk to you,” Cordray said.

This audition tour is also turning up some incredible talent, said associate producer Amy Bourne.

Painters, musicians and entrepreneurs, including a seven-year-old girl from Sooke, came from across the region.

“I think going into season seven people sort of know what to expect a little bit more,” Bourne said. “So you see the pitchers come in with really high-calibre pitches.”