David Chilton, known as the Wealthy Barber, owns property in Prince Edward Island
© Guardian photo by Nigel Armstrong
Dragon's Den star David Chilton, centre, is welcomed to Confederation Centre of the Arts Monday by Connor MacPhee, president of the ENACTUS group at University of Prince Edward Island. With them are fellow ENACTUS members, from left, Mark Skinner, Rebecca Dawson, and Anastasia McCarvill. Chilton was guest presenter at a fundraising event hosted by ENACTUS to help finance its projects that bring entrepreneurial resources to community volunteer groups.
Dragon's Den businessman David Chilton is a little off his golf game recently, a pity given the land he owns off the seventh hole of Crowbush golf course.
Chilton was in Charlottetown Monday as guest speaker for Enactus, a university student organization that applies entrepreneurial resources to community projects.
"I have come here many times in my career," said Chilton who has become famous with a 25-year career speaking and writing about personal finance under the Wealthy Barber brand. "I spent many vacations here, golf vacations normally."
He bought the property in Lakeside about seven or eight years ago. "I haven't had time to get on it yet because of Dragon's Den coming along."
His has found a lot of his time taken up with his new role as one of the Dragons in the popular television show that sees entrepreneurs try to secure investments from a panel of venture capitalists. Chilton is in his second season on the panel after joining the show in 2012.
"We tape for an entire month and get the whole year done because you would never get the five us together for an ongoing basis," said Chilton.
"The real work with Dragon's Den is not the taping, it's the after work," he said. "It's doing the thorough due diligence on the business before you write the cheques.
"More than that, it's helping the entrepreneurs once you're involved, adding your contacts and your experience and everything else.
"When you get a big group of these investments, it's a lot of work. Frankly, I wasn't quite fully prepared for it. We see 250 pitches in the course of a taping season.
"It's all good," said Chilton. "The investments have gone well, the people have been wonderful to deal with but it's a lot of work.
"When you go on the show it's like a letter of intent," said Chilton. "You still have to do the due diligence. You would be surprised how often we get misinformation.
"Also, the pitcher often backs out," he said. "This year, for example, we have had a tremendous number of those, where the pitcher comes on, sad to say, but I think more for the exposure, than truly wanting a deal."
On the other hand, more deals have successfully closed this year, said Chilton, including one of the biggest investments in the show's history.
Dragon's Den is not the main feature of Chilton's busy schedule.
"I'm out there more on the finance front, with speaking and writing and doing interviews," he said. "That would still dominate most of my time. I have a couple of new businesses I'm involved with.
"In Canada our economy stayed relatively good but we still have a lot of people who are over extended. We have record high debt levels. There are a dangerously high number of people behind the curve on saving for retirement, saving for their kids' education."