Like many Canadians, I don’t miss an episode of the smash hit reality show Dragon’s Den. The show is incredibly popular, it’s neck and neck with the iconic Hockey Night In Canada as CBC’s most watched show. The show has come a long way since the first season, which looked like it was shot in an abandoned warehouse somewhere in Scarborough.
However, thanks to the wonders of TV editing, you don’t get to see the whole picture. Often, a business pitch will actually last for a half hour or more, but it gets shrunk down to just the juicy parts so it’ll fit between commercial breaks. And that, folks, is truly a shame. Some really good stuff ends up on the cutting room floor. Wouldn’t it be fun if you could have an exclusive, behind the scenes look at what CBC doesn’t show?
Of course you’d like that. Luckily for all of us, my good looks and charming personality (and modesty) ensure I can get into pretty much whatever I want. So I spent a couple of days at the set of Dragon’s Den, to see what gets cut out. The results may surprise you.
(The pitcher walks down the stairs, and approaches their set up display and props)
Pitcher: Hi, I’m Pitcher A, owner of Acme Services. And I’m looking for $150,000 for-
Kevin O’Leary: (interrupting) Do you have sales?
Pitcher: Uhh, I’ll get to that.
Arlene Dickinson: KEVIN! SHUT UP! (to pitcher) Please continue young man.
Pitcher: Anyway, I’m looking for $150,000 for 25% of my company.
Robert Herjavec: That valuation is ridiculous.
Pitcher: You don’t even know what I do.
Kevin O’Leary: Who cares? You’re going to be road pizza in about a month and a half anyway.
Jim Treliving: Mmm… pizza
Arlene Dickinson: EVERYBODY SHUT UP! I WANT TO SPEAK!
Arlene: Please continue young man.
Pitcher: Thanks. At Acme Services, we lend money to people with lots of home equity, but poor credit. Since we’re only interested in people who the traditional lenders won’t touch, we’re able to charge a premium interest rate even though the loan is secured with a great deal of equity in the property.
Robert Herjavec: Have you considered a licensing deal?
Pitcher: What? I’m not sure that’s applicable here.
Kevin O’Leary: Oh man! Why wouldn’t you consider a licensing deal? You are a nutbar factor 6. I should whack you and put in my own manager.
Pitcher: Well, for one, we don’t actually have a product. We lend money.
Bruce Croxon: I don’t have anything important to add here. I just wanted to remind everyone I’m the new Dragon.
Pitcher: And secondly, we’re not looking to lend anywhere besides in our city. We know the area and the home values there, and therefore feel it’s prudent to limit our geographic reach, at least for now. We just need more capital, since demand is outpacing supply.
Arlene Dickinson: SHUT UP EVERYONE! Son, what are your sales?
Pitcher: Currently we have one million dollars lent out at an average return of 10%. So last year’s revenue was $100,000.
Robert Herjavec: So you have $1M lent out, but you’re valuing your company at $600k. That valuation is too high.
Pitcher: No it isn’t. It’s quite reasonable.
Kevin O’Leary: Robert is right. You’re a greedy pig. The greed is overtaking a perfectly reasonable business deal. For shame.
Arlene Dickinson: I’M TIRED OF ALL OF YOU BEING SO MEAN TO THIS NICE YOUNG MAN.
Pitcher: Wow, thanks. But I’m 49 years old.
Arlene Dickinson: Whatever, I’m bored. Are there any underwear models around?
Bruce Croxon: Yeah, they’re all locked in your trailer.
Arlene Dickinson: (Licks lips) Oh good. How long until our next break?
Brett Wilson: (Poking his head in the fire exit door) Hey, has anyone given these guys any money yet?
Everyone: GO AWAY BRETT!
Brett Wilson: Sorry guys. (to pitcher) If you want some money, I’ll just leave it in the parking lot for you. It’ll be in a sack, with a dollar symbol on the outside.
Pitcher: Wow, thanks. How much of my company do you want?
Brett Wilson: Don’t worry about it. Just take my money.
Producer: (With a broom) Scat! Shoo Brett Wilson!
Robert Herjavec: Have I ever mentioned I have a book?
Pitcher: Yes, I’m aware of it.
Robert Herjavec: Do you own several copies?
Pitcher: No. I checked it out from the library though.
Robert Herjavec: I’m out.
Arlene Dickinson: Have you considered the moral implications of charging such high interest rates? I had to pay those high rates back when I was a single mother. And it was horrible.
Kevin O’Leary: Oh stop it. Your tears add no value.
Arlene Dickinson: I’m not actually crying.
Kevin O’Leary: I will give you a deal, which is especially generous of me, considering you don’t deserve it. I will give you the $150k, for 51% of your company. Plus, I need a 45% royalty, paid until I get my 150 grand back, and then it drops to 42%.
Pitcher: That deal is ridiculous.
Kevin O’Leary: You’re dead to me. I hope you become the cockroach squashed beneath my shoe. I’m out.
Bruce Croxon: I know nothing about anything. I’m out.
Arlene Dickinson: I just can’t handle the moral implications of what you’re doing. How dare you prey on the weak like this.
Pitcher: What’s so bad about extending higher interest rate credit to people with damaged credit?
Arlene Dickinson: I feel so bad about this. I’m out. I am literally sick to my stomach right now. WHERE ARE MY UNDERWEAR MODELS?
Robert Herjavec: Only one Dragon left. Jim Treliving, what do you think?
Jim Treliving: (snores)
Producer: (hitting Jim with the broom) WAKE UP!
Jim Treliving: Huh? What? Sure, I’ll do that deal.
Pitcher: 25% for $150k?
Jim Treliving: Yeah, whatever. I just want a piece of the company. Let’s shake hands now.
Pitcher: Do you even know what we do?
Jim Treliving: It’s something to do with pizza, right?