The demand for this Dragon’s company skyrocketed — all while he was sick with COVID-19

If you know Lane Merrifield, you know the man loves his adventures.

But a snowboarding trip in early March ended in a different type of adventure for him — he caught COVID-19 from a fellow snowboarder.

Thankfully, Lane is back home in B.C. and is recovering. Molly Middleton, senior producer of Dragons’ Den, has been catching up with our “Dragons in captivity” to see how they’re doing during their days in isolation.

Welcome to Lane’s Den.

Catching COVID

Although Lane started exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms a few days after his trip, he didn’t qualify to get tested. Medical professionals confirmed with him that his symptoms and circumstance matched with a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Lane admits that he isn’t great at handling being sick under normal circumstances, but says that this illness was on a whole other level. “It was rough,” says Lane. “I had 'man-COVID,' which is worse than anything you can imagine.”

Running a company while sick

Demand for Lane’s company FreshGrade, which  provides online educational tools, has gone “through the roof.” It’s been so popular that his company has made its resources free for teachers during this time. This skyrocketing demand also means that Lane hasn’t been able to fully take time off to recover — he’s had to work from home while battling COVID. “I was still getting up and doing a couple of hours of meetings a day,” he says.

What should entrepreneurs learn during this time?

Has social distancing given you extra time? If so, Lane says now is a great time to invest in understanding your competition, understand where the market is going, and read “all the boring stuff” you’d never taken the time to read before.

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