On March 24, Dragons’ Den auditions will return to Niagara Falls, creating a great opportunity for entrepreneurs at Brock University. Over the past few years, CBC’s hit show has held auditions in the Niagara region, and this year is no different.
Auditions began in Toronto on February 10 and will be held in cities across Canada, in all 10 provinces and one territory. Ontario will host 14 auditions in 13 different cities.
Dragons’ Den originated in Japan, and then branched off to create versions in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Netherlands, Finland, the Middle East, and Canada. The Canadian version, which first aired on October 4, 2006, is currently on season 12 and allowing applicants to audition for season 13. The show gives up-and-coming entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their business ideas to a panel of Canadian business moguls, who invest in the business they think will be profitable.
The current Dragons are Jim Treliving, Michael Wekerle, Michele Romanow, Joe Mimran, Manjit Minhas and Arlene Dickinson. In the past, the Dragons have helped to get many products on the market. Some of the most successful Canadian products from the show include Snappy socks, Dig it Handwear, Shoelery, OMG’s, and Awake chocolate, which you may have seen by the cashiers in our dining halls.
With the help of these auditions, Brock students will have a chance to join the ranks of those who have become successful with the help of investments from the Dragons. While no students from the Goodman School of Business have ever applied to be on the Dragons’ Den, many students have participated in Brock’s Monster Pitch which is inspired by the show.
Monster Pitch is an annual competition held by the Brock Innovation Group, BioLinc, Brock’s business incubator and the Goodman school of Business. It accepts applicants from Brock students in any program. Monster Pitch gives students the opportunity to put forward their business ideas for the chance to win a cash prize and support services to start up their business. While the Monster Pitch competition is highly competitive and a great opportunity, Dylan Gullion, Ambassador to BioLinc, emphasized the fact that the Dragons’ Den auditions offers much higher rewards.
“Dragons Den is offering a great opportunity for young entrepreneurs. Being a popular television show it can provide publicity to a start-up company. It can also provide some valuable mentorship throughout the process. Many young entrepreneurs do not have anything to lose therefore, it’s a great opportunity for students. Auditions are local and well worth a trip to Niagara Falls,” Gullion commented.
Gullion advises students to remain calm during their auditions, as they have nothing to worry about, they are the experts on their products. He also suggests that students to make use of the resources available to them at Brock while preparing for the audition. Gullion explained that BioLinc is prepared to mentor any student interested in going to the auditions. Specifically, he recommends that students wishing to prepare for their audition set up a meeting with BioLinc Manager Dan Lynch by emailing Gullion at BioLincAmbassador@brocku.ca to set it up.
“Dan has been around the business for a long time. He is an expert at helping entrepreneurs take the next step on their journey. Dan should always be the first point of contact for aspiring entrepreneurs,” Gullion said.
For those interested in applying, the audition will be held at Scotiabank Convention Centre in Meeting Room 201 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m on March 24. Applicants of all ages and at all stages of business development are welcome. To apply use this link: http://castingapp.tv/dragonsden/application/ to fill out an application and bring it to the auditions. Be prepared to present a five-minute pitch to the producers of the show. Those who successfully convince the producers that their product or business is worthwhile will be invited to the Dragons’ Den for a chance to gain investment in their business.