The Next Gen enters the Dragons’ Den

Next Gen Den

Next Gen Den, Dragons’ Den for the next generation of entrepreneurs, hits the Interwebs today.
 
 
The new show is made for those of us who spend more time in front of laptops than a TV screen. A fast-paced, fresh take on the popular CBC show, Next Gen Den is weighted heavily towards entrepreneurs in tech. The new generation of Dragons joining the show feature some familiar faces, including Michael Hyatt of Bluecat, Michele Romanow of Buytopia.ca, Matthew Corrin of Freshii, and Paul Miklas of Valleymede Building Corp.

“I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life,” Romanow told BetaKit. “My specialty is in consumer tech and scale. What it means to scale up your user base, e-commerce. The executive producer of Next Gen Den also produced Ventures, years ago, where they followed entrepreneurs and their story. I remember watching it and thinking, that’s what I want to do. Lots of people on my path encouraged me, and now I’m giving back.”

“I remember watching it and thinking, that’s what I want to do.”

Crucially, these new Dragons seem to have already won over Canada’s startup community. On the Startup North Facebook group, entrepreneur and founder of GoInstant, Jevon MacDonald, posted his approval, stating that these “Next Gen Dragons are almost all more successful, closer to the day-to-day, and, dare I say, more interesting than the ones they put on TV. Frankly this version looks way more worthy of being on prime time TV.”

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Endorsements like these are important, because they’re coming from exactly the people Next Gen Den is hoping to target.

“The show is focused on the millennial generation starting businesses, and we’re all really impressed with the talent that came out: gutsy, smart founders with vision and passion,” said Hyatt. “I started from the bottom to self-made millionaire, and hired the best people, cut deals with Fortune 500s, and sold businesses. And frankly, I think that today, it’s 98% cheaper to build a company today than years ago. We’ve never seen this much momentum.”

With a combined wealth of $100M, the Next Gen Den Dragons will terrorize 45 companies in total. The first episode of Next Gen Den features #Paid, YourBoxClub and Swish. The rules of the game are the same: win over the Dragons or head home with nothing.

Backstage Photos courtesy Michael Hyatt

Elena Yunusov

Elena Yunusov

Elena Yunusov works at the intersection of digital communications and experience design. She is known in Toronto’s startup community as a HoHoTO & Toronto Maker Faire co-organizer. She likes coffee, robots, and wearable tech.