With only a dream, a poster and a shot at making it big in the business world, Josh Mitchell stuck out his thumb and took a leap of faith.
The Victoria inventor of pant hem cufflinks called Scufflinks was one of 4,200 entrepreneurs across Canada who auditioned for CBC’s TV show Dragons’ Den earlier this year.
He and business partner Jeremy Green were ecstatic to be among the 300 chosen to face the cameras in May and pitch their product to five wealthy investors – the dragons.
Faced with having to pay his own way to Toronto, but inspired by the idea of one day being seen by three million viewers, Mitchell decided to hitchhike and turned his journey into a publicity stunt.
He made up a poster and filled a backpack with Scufflinks, which are decorative and functional pins that keep pant hems from wearing, and blogged online about his trip along the way.
“I put Scufflinks in every province all the way to Ontario,” Mitchell said.
Five provinces, 45 free rides and five days later, he arrived with a day to spare, and in time for a much-needed shower, shave and hot meal.
“I slept for a week when I got home. I was done.”
He wound up taking the bus back home.
For Mitchell, the thrill of facing the dragons can only be topped by one thing.
“When I go cash my first seven-figure cheque, that will pretty much top it,” he said with a grin.
He remained tight-lipped about whether or not he struck a deal on the show.
“People try to dig for the answer,” Mitchell said coyly. “Let’s just say I didn’t leave weeping.”
For more information on the company, visit www.scufflinks.ca.