With big dreams come big opportunities for P.E.I. business owners

Kayla Woodside
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Dragon’s Den associate producers Priscilla Sreedharan, left, and Brian Corcoran, second left, start auditions off with business owners Sharon Quann and Reid Barnett during a recent visit to Charlottetown.

Big dreamers with even bigger visions were coming in and out of Charlottetown — some lugging advertisements and prototypes, some with a simple speech to showcase their businesses and ideas.

Although every person was vastly different, they all had one thing in common, they believe they have the next big thing to impress the Dragons of Dragon’s Den for this season of CBC’s reality show.

“This year we’re looking for anything and everything,” said associate producer Priscilla Sreedharan.

“We’re going into our ninth season of the show so at this point the Dragons have seen quite a bit. We’re definitely looking for unique businesses or just different types of businesses that the Dragons haven’t seen.”

Sharon Quann and Reid Barnett think they have what the Dragons are looking for with Quannessence Skincare of Summerside.

“With any luck we’ll be screened and be able to do our presentation in front of the Dragons,” Barnett said.

The team already has had success with their line of skincare but are looking to expand and go further.

“This is extending our opportunities and if we had the opportunity to get on the show, it would provide us with very strong promotion,” he said.

A Cornwall business owner is looking for similar success and wants to team up with one of the multi-millionaire Dragons.

“My business is food, and the most relevant Dragon to the food-based business seems to be Jim Treliving, the founder of the Boston Pizza chain as well as a number of other chains,” said Bruce MacPherson, owner of Sizzler BBQ Catering.

“It was easy and painless, I think the pitch was well received,” he said.

Sreedharan has seen countless people sign up for the show every year and doesn’t see it slowing down.

“Every year we think we have bled the country dry of entrepreneurs but no, they keep coming back and I think it’s a true testament to what Canadians are. I think they really want to work for themselves and they want to be the boss,” she said.

More auditions will be held in cities around Canada until the end of February.

Organizations: CBC, Boston Pizza

Geographic location: P.E.I., Charlottetown, Cornwall Canada

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