The Dragons’ Den Effect: Episode 2

Once the dust settled from the airing of Episode 2, we caught up with the handful of entrepreneurs who pitched on the show. What effect - if any - did the national exposure have on their businesses and lives?

Brothers Scott and Raymond Lim of B.K.H. Jerky booked the SIP Resto Lounge downtown Vancouver for a viewing party of the episode - there was barely enough room for all 250 of their closest friends! They got the BKH website up and running just in time for broadcast and luckily they did, because the online orders started coming in instantaneously. Distributors and store-owners from Newfoundland to Yellowknife have been contacting them to get their hands on the juicy product. They've also become mini-celebrities in the neighbourhood - Raymond says all the new pointing and staring has been "really weird."

Jen Blaikie of She-A-Pet has received almost 200 emails since the show, many of them with messages like "laughed my ass off", "was on the edge of my seat", "I voted for you" and "I so would have made you a deal" (lots of encouraging words!), but also from marketers, distributors, manufacturers, businesses wanting to carry her products and two potential investors! Her website received just over 10,000 hits from when it aired until midnight the next evening. Last she checked she was well over $1000 in sales, and many more showing the intent to make purchases when all my items are in stock.

Cardswap's Frances Ho said they were had their tech team working around the clock to make sure their website wouldn't crash during broadcast, and it didn't! Facebook fans pre-show airing? 1,600. Facebook fans post-show airing? 5,700 and counting. They ran a contest the day after the show aired and gave away a $100 gift card (of your choice) every hour for 11 hours and saw an increase in 700% of unique visitors to the site.

Darcia and Borris (aka, "Fabio") from the Mercury Opera Company in Edmonton were so exhausted from their most recent critically acclaimed production that they opted for a more private screening with a few family members. Not much response yet from the airing of the show, but things are looking good for the Mercury Opera company: Their short run of Mme. Butterfly is taking steps towards developing a longer run in Edmonton, and Darcia says she has a few surprises up her sleeve that will bring Opera to the masses in even more unexpected ways.

Ramiro Ariza, inventor of his family lime-slicing machine, shared the experience of pitching to the Dragons with several friends and family - people he says have supported him through thick and thin as he's developed his product. Ramiro hasn't had much response from viewers who caught a glimpse of his invention in action in the Den, but he said that he was literally holding the newest prototype in his hands - a much smaller model than what he had demo'd on the show. He's hopeful that the smaller prototype will be a better pitch-aide than the original, and that maybe another chance to face the Dragons might turn out differently.