For many early stage startups, the right exposure at the right time can have a huge impact. While the ‘realness’ of CBC’s reality television is debatable, no one can deny the white hot spotlight Dragons’ Den has put on the nation’s entrepreneurs. The show’s producers are now expanding the premise to cover early stage startups with a new web series.
Next Gen Den will be a 12 episode web series, airing first on February 2nd, with each webisode running ten minutes in length. The shorter, web and mobile focused format makes it clear that the CBC is targeting a younger audience – all Canadian entrepreneurs shown in the 12 episode run are younger than 40, with an average age of 27. In the show’s promotional video, we were able to spot some names familiar to BetaKit: Onyx Motion, HWKI, and #Paid.
I reached out for Marissa Wu, co-founder of Oxny Motion, for her perspective on pitching the company under a bright spotlight and larger audience. For her part, Wu seemed undeterred by the additional pressure.
“We did the same thing we do in any pitch: let the product speak for itself,” she said. “Something about basketball makes it almost instinctively familiar to people, so the appeal of our product (healthy competition, a game within a game, skill development at any level) just seems to pop naturally in most people’s minds. It’ll be the same with the Den, just a little but more nerve-wracking!”
Next Gen Den’s team of Dragons also exemplify the show’s youth movement, with Michael Hyatt (Chairman of Bluecat, millionaire by 25), Michele Romanow (29, co-founder of Buytopia.ca and SnapSaves), and Matthew Corrin (33, CEO and founder of Freshii) putting the startups through their paces.
Those entrepreneurs interested in participating in Dragons’ Den classic should take note that the 10th season’s audition tour starts February 7th in Toronto. Additional dates and information can be found here.