Pitching for dough in the Dragons' Den
It was around 5 years ago when I first heard about Dragons’ Den. I was at work, lunching with my colleagues who were talking about the Dragons’ Den episode from the night before. I had never heard about the popular Canadian show that had entrepreneurs from across the country vie for investor dollars. I was intrigued and became a huge fan of the show. Little did I know at the time how much Dragons’ Den would change my life.
Each week I was inspired by the people on the show, even though not every featured business was a winner, I was still amazed at the passion and drive demonstrated by these individuals. So I started to think to myself “if these people can do it, why can’t I?”. I mean, I had a business degree, and more than a decades’ experience in the packaged goods and retail industry. I also had lots of shopping experience I was a serious consumer of kitchen gadgets and such, and still am.
So I decided to go for it. A few years ago I had an idea for a product that would shape and store homemade cookie dough. All my life I have been an avid baker, and self-proclaimed cookie monster, and when I had my kids they also loved baking with me. However, when the kids were involved there was always a big mess to be cleaned, so I thought “wouldn’t it be great if there was a kitchen gadget that I could use to easily store a portion of the cookie dough so that we could have fresh baked cookies without all the mess? And that is when the idea for The Smart Cookie™ was born!
Even during the development stage, one of my main goals was to pitch The Smart Cookie in front of the Dragons, so when I saw the call for Season 9 auditions I immediately grabbed my husband Greg and told him that we had to start practicing our pitch!
On February 6th we headed out on a cold and snowy day to the auditions being held in Burlington. We got there at 10am and already there were at least 7 other businesses signed up to audition. First we had to fill out a form to provide our business information, and then one of the producers spoke about the audition process which was very simple – after auditioning for the two producers that day, if our business was selected to tape a segment in front of the Dragons we would receive a phone call within the next month. Our pitch that day went well, the producers seemed to like us and our product, but having watched the pitches before us I knew that this was no guarantee of our success – the producers were nice to everyone.
For the next few weeks I was anxiously awaiting a call from the producers, and finally the call came – we were asked to come to the CBC studio to tape a segment for Season 9! On March 29th we headed down to the CBC building in Toronto, excited to finally get our chance to present The Smart Cookie to the Dragons.
We found out after the studio tour that we were going to be the second pitch of the day, which was quite a relief because we were told that some pitchers have had to wait up to 6 hours before taping their segment. I was not nervous at all………until we were waiting outside of the studio door, waiting to step onto the walkway into the Den, immediately my mouth got dry and my mind went blank, and……….you will have to wait until next Wednesday to see what happened, we will be the very first pitch of Season 9 of Dragon’s Den (airing at 8pm October 15th on CBC)!