Tim Kennedy of Campbell River holds copies of his children’s books about fire safety. He pitched the books – Tommy and Tammy the Firefighting Children – to Dragons’ Den in Victoria. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Entrepreneurs from around the Island attend Dragons’ Den auditions in Victoria

Pitches have a chance to make it onto national television

Entrepreneurs from around the Island made their way to the Parkside Hotel in downtown Victoria on Thursday to pitch the next big thing.

Dragons’ Den, the Canadian reality television show that gives people a chance to pitch new ideas to business leaders, was in Victoria on March 5 in its search for potential participants.

Those pitches that are selected have the chance to appear on national television.

Farro Mackenzie and Alice Field left Campbell River at 6 a.m. Thursday to make it to the auditions. They pitched their business, Arro Athletics. The pair created an athletic legging with a silicone waistband to be non-slip and create a thermogenic effect during workouts. They launched in February, 2019 but wanted help from the dragons to expand their product range.

READ ALSO: Dragon’s Den auditions return to Victoria in search of business pitches

“We have a lot of ideas and samples of new products but in order to get that to market we need more capital,” Field said.

Also from Campbell River was Tim Kennedy, a former Vancouver firefighter who has written and created children’s books that teach fire safety.

Kennedy was a firefighter for 25 years and said he remembers a child coming to him once asking many questions about the job and their truck.

“I thought, ‘why don’t I write a book that puts children into the story?’,” Kennedy said.

Tim Kennedy of Campbell River holds a copy of one of his children’s books about fire safety. He pitched the books – Tommy and Tammy the Firefighting Children – to Dragons’ Den in Victoria. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

He created ‘Tommy and Tammy the Firefighting Children’ and has three books that include fire safety plans and a portion families can fill out together.

“The idea is to engage them … and parents can learn from them as well,” Kennedy said.

He was hoping to work with one of the dragons to turn his books into a children’s cartoon series with merchandise as well so kids are able to learn about fire safety from books and television.

READ ALSO: Victoria’s FATSO one month after Dragons’ Den deal

From Tofino was Lisa Ahier, chef and owner of the restaurant SoBo. Ahier came to the auditions with samples of her famous smoked salmon chowder. She was hoping to work with the dragons to start up her own factory to produce more soups and sell them across Canada in supermarkets.

Ahier began making the chowder 17 years ago when she opened SoBo as a food truck in Tofino. Now, the restaurant is in a brick-and-mortar spot in downtown Tofino but the chowder is as popular as ever, she said.

“I sell so much of it at the restaurant that I started putting it in the freezer and now people come in to buy it,” Ahier said. “I can’t keep up.”

Ahier tried to leave Tofino on Wednesday night to make it to the auditions but the highway was closed. She ended up leaving at 3 a.m. on Thursday morning to pitch her chowder to the dragons.

“I’m here to get ‘er done,” Ahier said.

Lisa Ahier travelled to Victoria from Tofino at 3 a.m. to audition for Dragons’ Den. She is a chef and owner of the restaurant SoBo and pitched her popular salmon chowder to the dragons. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)


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