Dragons’ Den Presents The Next Gen Den Targeting Start-Ups

Weekly webisodes will premiere on Monday, February 2nd.

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

A brand new panel of Dragons have entered the Den and are looking to invest in the next generation of Canadian entrepreneurs on the “Next Gen Den.”

Created by the producers of “Dragons’ Den,” the “Next Gen Den” targets mobile viewership through a series of 12 webisodes, each 10 minutes long. Audiences will experience the same drama and excitement of its hit television series counterpart but with new Dragons – it’s all available exclusively online beginning February 2nd. The series targets young Canadian entrepreneurs (all under the age of 40, with an average age of 27) who are pitching start-up businesses to four new Dragons.

“Canadian entrepreneurship, particularly tech start-ups, are exploding,” said Tracie Tighe, executive producer of “Dragons’ Den.” “We don’t always have room on our TV show for as many of these early-stage entrepreneurs as we’d like to feature. Here you will see smaller, riskier deals than we see on the broadcast show; most of these businesses aren’t proven models yet. The fun is watching our new panel of Dragons sort through them. Will they discover the next Mark Zuckerberg, or spot the next Blackberry? We hope the ‘Next Gen Den’ will seed the next big thing.”

In this version of the Den, the rules are the same: pitchers must take what they’re offered, or walk away with nothing. Four Dragons are featured throughout the 12 webisodes, with three seated on the panel at a time. These successful entrepreneurs represent the next generation of Dragons and include Michael Hyatt (chairman of Bluecat), Michele Romanow (co-founder of Buytopia.ca and SnapSaves), Matthew Corrin (CEO and founder of Freshii), and Paul Miklas (CEO of Valleymede Building Corp.). All are under 50 years old and boast a combined wealth of over $100 million dollars, with their expertise spanning various sectors including economics, QSR (quick service restaurants) digital ventures, and real estate.

Weekly webisodes to premiere Monday, February 2 on cbc.ca/NextGenDen.

Photo: Dragons’ Den/Next Gen Den