Victoria entrepreneur Taylor McCarten was walking out of the Dragons’ Den dejected and empty-handed when, at the last second, Arlene Dickinson called him back.
McCarten had been pitching his company’s solution to smelly compost – the world’s first indoor compost powder – to the panel of business moguls (dragons) on the Canadian reality TV show.
“Dragons, imagine this. You’re coming home from a long day at the office counting your money, and you walk into your kitchen and you smell something disgusting,” McCarten opened his pitch with. “You follow your nose and what do you know? Once again it’s your kitchen compost bin.”
|Taylor McCarten is the co-founder of BinBreeze, a compost powder that eliminates odours and fruit flies. (Courtesy of Taylor McCarten)
Designed by McCarten and his co-founder, University of Victoria PhD chemist and professor Harmen Zijlstra, the powder is made up of locally sourced Douglas fir wood waste, fossilized algae, hyper-porous minerals and organic essential oils – all designed to eliminate odour and fruit flies.
The fossilized algae is hyper-absorbent and soaks up the waxy coatings of insects with exoskeletons. When fruit flies are exposed to the algae, they lose their outer coating and are unable to fly. They then slowly dehydrate until they compost alongside the food waste.
All people have to do is shake some of the holiday, lavender or unscented powder over the top of their food waste, McCarten explained.
The product is also beneficial for the environment. The wood waste that BinBreeze uses in its powder would otherwise be part of the millions of tonnes burned in Canada every year – a practice that releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The Dragons were immediately interested in the idea, but grew unimpressed when they determined McCarten’s valuation was off. He was asking for $270,000 for 10 per cent of the company.
One by one, each Dragon backed out and McCarten was left without a deal. Then, as he was walking out the door, Dickinson called him back and offered him $270,000 for 49 per cent. McCarten accepted.
More information on BinBreeze and where it can be purchased can be found at binbreeze.ca.
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