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A Freak Show or the Dragon's Den Auditions
April 19 2009

So you wanna be a businessman? How about a shot at getting on the Dragon's Den show to pitch your business or a concept to four investors: Brett Wilson, Kevin O'Leary, Jim Treliving, and Arlene Dickinson. I thought to give it a shot to pitch my business, namely StoryLeap. Like many other would-be successful business owners, I thought my idea is the next "big thing". People live through interesting events every day, they meet celebrities, see ghosts, survive tsunamis and hurricanes, visit exotic locales, escape from pirates and so on, why not share their stories through StoryLeap with the rest of the world. After all it seems everybody on Twitter is doing that in 140 characters, why not write a full story.

I didn't get on the show, "they get 4000 offers like this every day". But this is not why I am writing this story. While waiting for my turn to pitch to the "producers" of the show I shared a table with four other people. This was the most eclectic group of people I have ever met.
A tall guy with a pony tail was an Indian chief from the Peterborough area. He had the most simple and most marketable product of all, LED lights that attach to a life jacket and activated by water. Once on, the light will work for 10 days, compared to an 8-hour life span of the currently used lights. A young sister duo was pitching a start-up called Packing in Pink, pink accessories for shooting women. Apparently, the shooting industry lacks feminine touch, according to the sisters they're going to change that by introducing pink trigger locks, ear muffs and other apparel, and they are going to donate a portion of their proceeds to the breast cancer research. Noble idea, but seems like a stretch to be a business.
By far, the most memorable encounter of the day was a man in his early sixties in a suit and tie with a cardboard poster by his side. "I am a visionary", he announced when it was his turn to tell us about his business. As he pulled the cardboard poster in front of him, his wife who was sitting next to him on the couch flicked specks of dust off his sleeve, and held her breath. On the white 1'by 2' surface we saw a drawing of something that looked like a flying saucer that landed on a tall building surrounded by several diamond-shaped smaller buildings. He called it "Aurora Castle Theme Park". The drawing was rather short on detail. Other than outlaying the shape of the structure it had no names for the sections it was separated into by straight vertical and horizontal lines, no detailed schematics, dimensions or anything even remotely indicating that it wasn't some six grader's school project, but a science, education and communication complex with a luxury condominium and hotel and a lot more, according to the author. As Jeffrey, the visionary, finished his description and as I was looking at him, thinking if he was nuts or if I was missing something, one of the sisters from Packing in Pink cheerfully proclaimed, "greaaat, so how much would that cost?". Jeffrey looked at all of us slowly as his wife blew another unruly speck from his shoulder, "1.5 Billion dollars", he replied.
Heck, I should've asked for more money.

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Comments from Our Readers

  "Nice story!" - Jani, November 27 2009 - reply

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