Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead (Tuesday, April 6, 2010)

Lax Kw'alaams looks at some more Rupert real estate, seeking an audience with the Dragons and bookkeeping irregularities uncovered at Lax Kw'alaams Academy some of the items from the Tuesday news files.

Daily News, Front page, headline story
DRAGONS' DEN HEARS PITCHES FROM TWELVE LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS -- Two visiting producers for CBC's Dragon's Den set up shop at the Crest last week examining the suitability of submissions of twelve Rupertites with dreams of a chance to audition their plans in front of the Television panel in Toronto. The producers are on a tour of 40 Canadian cities, hoping to line up the next big thing for the popular CBC program.If any of the Rupert dozen are to make the trek to the big city, they'll know within the next two weeks or so, the first of the tapings takes place April 22nd.

The Lax Kw'alaams Band council apparently has some more money to invest in the city, with the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District building on their radar for purchase. The building which is owned by the City of Prince Rupert is just the latest item on the Lax Kw'alaams check list as they continue to increase their share of the Prince Rupert economic scene.

The quest to bring to an end the era of open net fish farms on the north coast may get a boost from some interest from  the United Kingdom. The T. Buck Suzuki foundation is using a report from the Salmon and Trout Association in the UK which outlines that organizations concerns over the impact of fish farms on the Wild Scottish Salmon fishery, ammunition that British Columbian's that are against the open net farming issue believe adds to their opposition to the practice in local waters.

The Sports page features a look at the upcoming golf season on the North coast and where things stand as we head into the golfing season.

(Daily News Archives for April 6, 2010)

Dragons’ Den hears pitches from twelve local entrepreneurs
PNCIMA process seeks feedback
Open net farms are more than a B.C. issue
SQRD building could be getting a new owner 

The Northern View
Former B.C. school bookkeeper charged with fraud -- The Northern View examines the latest developments at Lax Kw'alaams Academy as fraud charges are brough forward against a former school bookkeeper at the Academy. (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Welding Equipment Stolen -- Prince Rupert RCMP are investigating a break in on George Hills Way which saw a number of welding related items stolen from the Delco branch in the city (see article here)

CBC News British Columbia, Daybreak North  
No new items were posted to the CBC website for Tuesday 

Daybreak North is only posting selected items on their website now. The most recently posted items can be found on the archive page for Daybreak North click here 

Daily News, front page, headline story
Dragons’ Den hears pitches from twelve local entrepreneurs
By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News
Tuesday, April 6, 2010

When two producers from CBC Television’s Dragons’ Den were in Prince Rupert they heard 12 presentations from local entrepreneurs.

 Half way through the afternoon, Molly Duigan and Colin Dawson said they weren’t being as ruthless as the Dragons, but were trying to prepare people so they can know what to expect if they make it to the show.

“We try to ask questions that people should expect from the dragons. They are going to ask tough questions,” Duigan said.

The two were particularly impressed with a presentation made by Justine Crawford of Cassiar Cannery, who pitched a new type of container for purified water.

“She’s very unique because part of her plan is to rejuvenate the whole community really by converting her property at the cannery to a water facility and create jobs for local people. It’s a cool picture. It’s not just about her making a buck off a product, she’s trying to give life to the community as well,” said Duigan.

They said they also saw a couple of “concepts-only” presentations, which are always difficult to pitch.

 “Now that we’re going into the sixth season of Dragons’ Den, it’s hard to sell an idea in the den. We are still looking for the next million-dollar idea, but it’s a tough sell. The dragons like to put money into an idea and get money back,” Duigan commented.

The bar has been raised over the past five years in terms of the calibre of businesses the Dragons’ Den has been seeing, and the 2010 tour has mainly included people presenting existing businesses that need a cash infusion to take them to the next level.

 “When it’s still just an idea in your brain, it’s a lot harder to get onto the show,” Duigan explained.

“It’s harder to present an idea, because if you present any sort of functioning component, whether it’s a prototype idea and it’s on paper it’s hard to make it interesting for a television show,” said Dawson.

Throughout the six weeks, the two saw it all, they said.

 “We saw everything from innovation in golf products to a gentlemen here with a teeny tiny keyboard. He plans to replace the conventional keyboard with a very small different kind of a keyboard. That’s interesting. Technology-wise you think it’s all been done - and [then] he has that idea,” said Duigan.

 The two visiting producers will head off to Thunder Bay this week, while other producers will investigate Whitehorse and some cities in Southern Ontario.

 “We will go back and roundtable but can’t make any decisions until we see what the whole country has to offer,” said Duigan.

 According to Dawson, there have been as many as two to three thousand applications. “For all we know there could be another pocket keyboard guy on the East Coast,”

Dawson explained. Dawson worked for a couple of reality television shows in Australia before joining the Dragons’ Den two years ago. Duigan has been part of the team for four years.

When asked if they have previous experience pitching business ideas the two said they didn’t, but part of their job entails selling their favourite picks to the show.

Duigan may have an idea of what she wants to see on the show, but Dawson may have seen something similar somewhere else that is further along in the business.

 “We will duke it out on their behalf,” said Duigan. “We do our best to present the Dragons with opportunities, whatever they are. We have no control over what they end up choosing but we try to put what we think deserves a shot, deserves exposure and deserves showcasing on Canadian television. That’s the cool thing about the show, it’s the only platform for showcasing Canadian innovation and entrepreneurship.”

 But they don’t pitch to the Dragons. The Dragons don’t know anything about show’s guests until the walk down the stairs.

 “The Dragons know your first name and that’s it. Our job is to prepare people for the pitch. One of the producers will work with each person ahead of the show. Today our keyboard guy had a Power Point presentation. That’s great for a boardroom, but not good for a television show.”

 Duigan, Dawson and the others try to help make the pitches interesting in a way tht works for a TV program.

 “If you have a pet project, you better bring a pet. If you have a baby product, you’d better bring a baby. Whereas, in a boardroom you would never do that. Sometimes people think they should wear a power suit and bring a big box full of documents and we say, be yourself and sell it,” Duigan commented.

 The show will be filmed in Toronto between April 22 and May 21. People that have been selected to go on the show will be notified within the next few weeks.

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