Despite the fact they've seen numerous fitness products and their inventors being ripped to shreds on TV, a trio of Richmond entrepreneurs had little hesitation in sticking their collective heads into the Dragons' Den.
That's because these guys - Astone Fitness Ltd's Ben Silverman, Darren Shane and Joel Grenz - had every confidence in their Human Trainer and knew their pitch to the Dragons inside out.
"For us, we wanted to show them something they haven't seen before," said Shane, the company's CEO, who started Astone with Silverman nine years ago in a parent's garage.
"Our key product is 'The Human Trainer,' which is a patented mobile suspension gym.
"We've watched many episodes of Dragons' Den, where people have been torn to pieces that felt they had a solid business.
"We were looking for more working capital to keep up with demand and expand."
Although not being allowed to say how their pitch was ultimately received by the Dragons - a group of highly successful celebrity entrepreneurs - Shane said he and his team were very prepared.
"You never know how the business pitch will go in the Den, so I believe every entrepreneur is still somewhat nervous and excited at the same time," said Shane, describing how they had to arrive very early at the studio and caused a bit of a fuss with their large set-up requiring a fork lift.
"We were a bit of a headache you might say as we were in the CBC building the day before setting up our large props for the business pitch.
"At the end of our pitch, the producers loved us and have said we are one of the most exciting episodes of season seven."
The Dragons' Den experience was "definitely one of the biggest rushes of my life," added Shane, saying they went on the show to turn their million-dollar business into a multi-million-dollar consideration.
"We've all put our blood, sweat and tears into growing our company and we feel we weren't caught off guard because we went in prepared.
The show airs on Sunday, Jan. 13, at 8 p.m. on CBC.
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