Deal in hand, cameras still rolling, Lake Country manufacturer Chase Van Buuren reached into an ATV he rolled onto the deck cover he made on the back of his truck and pulled out a cold beer to celebrate.
Van Buuren was on the CBC-TV show Dragon’s Den, where entrepreneurs make pitches on their products or companies to a panel of five, looking for one or more of the Dragons to invest.
The show with Van Buuren, owner-operator of Limitless Manufacturing (limitlessmfg.com), aired Thursday, Nov. 25.
The 29-year-old Van Buuren, who drove three days across Canada with his partner, Cassidy Lidstone of Vernon, to get to Toronto for the show’s taping, was pitching a snowmobile deck that fits into the back of a person’s pickup truck and extends to a full eight-feet wide. He began his demonstration driving an ATV up a ramp onto one of the decks.
He also introduced his company’s latest product, developed and built in the shop he owns in Lake Country, that he said was “more universal for your everyday truck driver.” A tonneau cover that you can possibly fit onto your truck bed.
Set up over the tonneau cover aboard Van Buuren’s own truck was a 1,000 pound concrete block suspended by a train, which was dropped onto the deck when Dragon Michele Romanow pushed a button.
The Dragons, to a person, were suitably impressed.
Van Buuren asked for $1 million for 15 per cent of his company.
After telling his recent profit margin and sales projections on the two products, the longest-serving Dragon, Arlene Dickinson, offered the $1 million but only asked for 10 per cent royalties until she gets three times her capital back.
Fellow Dragon Wes Hall wanted in on that deal, and Dickinson agreed. The three other Dragons – Romanow, Manjit Minhas and Vincenzo Guzzo – passed. Romanow said Van Buuren had the best possible deal on the table.
Van Buuren happily accepted the offer.
“Thank you Dragons, for all of your input,” said Van Buuren. “Arlene, Wes, let’s do it.”
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