From a naughty adult gingerbread-making kit to a voice-automated house to custom-made walking canes, dozens of ideas were pitched at the annual Dragons’ Den auditions in Victoria last week.
It was the second stop for the CBC TV show, which is on a cross-country, 38-city audition tour to look for entrepreneurs with fresh business ideas.
“Victoria is one of our bigger (stops). We always find such good people there,” said Michelle MacMillan, an associate producer with the show.
Langford resident Kevin James came hoping to have the same kind of luck that past applicants have had on the show.
“These (dragons) give the average person the funds and the means to make your dreams come true or, at least, get a head start,” James said after facing the three-member panel at the Inn at Laurel Point.
James pitched the “easy out oil filter,” which his father Jim made about six years ago to assist with the removal of tight-fitting, hard-to-reach vehicle oil filters. The owners of Metchosin-based James Entreprises Movers showed off a socket outfitted with a looped strap made from an old seat belt.
Many of the applicants arrived with prototypes and mannequins, poster boards and laptops. Like Esquimalt’s Jeremy Green and Victoria resident Josh Mitchell, most came away from the experience with advice.
The masterminds of pant hem cufflinks called Scufflinks were advised to work out their business plan and continue honing their pitch in case they are selected to face the dragons.
“We like it. We like both you guys, like the product. We like the energy,” executive producer Tracie Tighe told the men.
Show producers say they are looking for the complete package: fresh concepts and passion.
“It’s been five really successful seasons, so now the big challenge for people will be finding a new idea that manages to be something we haven’t seen before,” said MacMillan. “We’ve got to see concepts because these people won’t ever get the opportunity to meet people like the dragons.”