There’s no doubt about it: With millions of viewers each week, Dragons’ Den is a Canadian success story. But one of the best things about the show is that Dragons’ Den has turned so many businesses into Canadian success stories themselves. The so-called “Dragons’ Den effect” refers to the overnight success that some companies have experienced as a result of appearing on the show.
Tonight’s episode of Dragons’ Den followed up on pitches featured on the show over the past six seasons. There were those who scored deals with the Dragons; Those whose businesses have failed since appearing on the show; Those who’ve been successful despite the Dragons’ dire predictions; Those who succeeded without landing a Dragon deal; And those whose businesses have been catapulted by the “Dragons’ Den effect.”
Last year Mark Podell appeared in the Den with his gardening tool, the QuickPlant. Although the Dragons liked the product, with an ask of $360,000 and no sales, the Dragons thought Podell was nuts. Fast forward one year and it’s a different story. He’s got $500,000 in sales and a distributor for his product. The QuickPlant can now be found in Canadian Tire, Rona and Home Hardware.
Oakville’s Tal Dehitar failed in the Den, not once, but twice! He was looking for cash for his ethical shoe company, Oliberte—the first shoe company to manufacture exclusively in Africa. On his first try, the Dragons didn’t like his shoe designs. On his second try, the Dragons’ weren’t keen on the production model. Since appearing on the show, however, Oliberte has grown tremendously. You can find their shoes in Aldo, Town Shoes, the Gap and more. Sales have doubled to over $1 million and the company continues to produce in Africa, providing lots of jobs along the way.
Vancouver-based mompreneur Elaine Comeau landed a deal with Kevin O’Leary and Jim Treliving for 30% of her organizational company Easy Daisies. Immediately after the show aired she did $5,000 in sales. Comeau is moving her business out of the house to a distribution facility. She’s delighted with the example she’s setting for her kids. “When you reach for the stars,” Comeau said, “you’ll land somewhere higher than where you started.”
So there you have it. One company the Dragons’ thought was going nowhere fast, one that succeeded without landing a deal, and one that has flourished with its Dragon partners. All of them: Success stories.
Regardless of the outcome, exposure on Dragons’ Den has a tremendous impact on small business. So what are you waiting for? Auditions for next season are taking place right now.