Jill Van Gyn, FATSO peanut butter owner, took her Victoria-based company to the Dragons’ Den in 2018. (FATSO peanut butter photo) Dragon’s Den is heading back to the Island to hold auditions for its thirdteenth season, March 7 at the Parkside Hotel. (Photo courtesy Dragon’s Den)

Dragons Den auditions return to Victoria

Fatso peanut butter founder and CEO calls it a ‘rite of passage’

Dragon’s Den auditions are back in town on March 7, taking place at the Parkside Hotel from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m..

Pitchers will have their chance to highlight their entrepreneurial merit or business idea for a panel of wealthy Canadian business moguls – the Dragons.

With only five minutes or less to showcase their idea, local entrepreneurs could be invited to Toronto for filming in May 2019.

RELATED: Islanders who faced the Dragons: where are they now?

Jill Van Gyn, founder and CEO of Fatso peanut butter, calls the auditions a “rite of passage” for any upcoming business owner or entrepreneur.

“It’s a challenge to your own business to see if you have the chops to hack it and to see the responses from independent judges,” says Van Gyn. “Plus just the fun in going to Toronto and being on TV while doing it.”

Van Gyn auditioned on the show in Toronto last year, she didn’t end up taking a deal but says it was well worth the experience (even though she had to pay for her trip).

RELATED: Victoria’s FATSO one month after Dragon’s Den deal

“I think for people that are really looking for money right now – it can be a godsend. But for me, it was really about the awareness of the product,” she says.

According to the auditions webpage, special attention will be given to “social entrepreneurs who are working hard to support Canadian youth.”

They aim to support social entrepreneurs that “will positively impact young Canadians (up to 30 years old),” states the webpage, addressing four key areas: education, employment and entrepreneurship, health and healthy living or social engagement.

RELATED: Victoria company faces backlash to ‘fat-shaming’ picture

According to Van Gyn it’s vital to make sure you are filling a critical gap in the market.

“They’re looking for unique products that are going to be new to Canadians and new to the Dragons,” she says. “It can be very very competitive.”

To help out hopeful contestants there’s even an auditions cheat-sheet laying out everything audition-ees will need to know or expect.

For a complete list of audition dates and times visit cbc.ca/dragonsden/auditions.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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