Dominik Loncar, CYBF Entrepreneur-in-Residence, dloncar@cybf.ca

Here are some essential tips to keep in mind if you‘d like to pitch on the Dragons’ Den:

  1. Have a clear, compelling opening. Practice your presentation in order to clearly communicate what you do in 30 seconds. Practice on strangers. Do they understand your pitch?
  2. Give them layers. There needs to be substance behind what you say. The opening pitch is only the beginning and should lead to other interesting and compelling information.
  3. What’s the backstory? This is TV so make it interesting – describe how the idea came about; the challenges you’ve overcome to date etc.
  4. Prove it will work. Go beyond stats and show how many sales you’ve made; discuss the recent growth in sales; or mention negotiations with major buyers etc. Some form of traction is essential.  Dragons don’t invest in ideas; they invest in probable profit makers. There’s a big difference!
  5. Know your numbers. You need to know all the possible variations of investment possibilities, be able to address financial concerns quickly, substantiate forecasts, and know exactly what your request for money will be used for and how this translates into sales.
  6. Are you the right person to do this? Just because you have a business idea, it doesn’t always mean you’re the right person to deliver the presentation. To demonstrate that you are, ensure to highlight the following:
    1. Your technical expertise and know how about the product/service;
    2. Industry experience/knowledge;
    3. Character that shows your resolve to make this happen; and
    4. Your plan for next steps.

Even if you don’t get financing from the Dragons’ Den, these lessons will serve you well in whatever business you plan on starting. Happy pitching!

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