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Enter the Den: Revelstoke business pitches to the Dragons

The episode will be shown Jan. 4 on CBC
Jackie Rhind pitched to the Dragons on CBC’s Dragons’ Den. (Dragons’ Den)

After a strong year that included winning a small business award, Ovry will begin the new year on a similarly strong note with their business being highlighted in an episode on CBC’s Dragons’ Den in January.

Revelstoke’s Ovry will appear in the upcoming season of Dragons’ Den on Jan. 4 at 5 p.m. PST. Ovry CEO Jackie Rhind pitched to the Dragons in late May, unsure whether her appearance would make it into an episode. Having already done the tough part in pitching to the Dragons, Rhind reflected on the whole process that led to Ovry’s appearance on the show.

Ovry sells alternative reproductive and pregnancy tests online and in select stores.

It all started more than a year ago when Rhind applied online for the show, but then she didn’t hear anything for several months. Her pitch had been shortlisted for the show, and after a virtual audition with a producer, she was invited to enter the Dragons’ Den.

“I heard that I had made it to the next level, which was to come to Toronto and pitch in front of the Dragons.”

To prepare for her appearance in front of the Dragons – which include Michele Romanow, Manjit Minhas, Robert Herjavec, Vincenzo Guzzo, Wes Hall and Arlene Dickinson – Rhind had to practice.

“I did a mock pitch to a few friends in town,” Rhind said, adding “they would ask questions as if they were the dragons.”

As viewers of the show may know, pitches on the show can vary. Strong pitches generate more interest from the Dragons, but deals on the show include a give and take. The Dragons often provide more funding, but only for a percentage of the business that’s pitching.

Rhind was pitching on behalf of Ovry, a Revelstoke-based company. (Dragons’ Den)

After discussing the pitch with her coworkers, Rhind and the team at Ovry had already agreed to a range of how much of the business they were willing to give up.

READ MORE: Revelstoke business wins Small Business BC Award, pitches to Dragons’ Den

Having watched the show since she was young, Rhind was familiar with the process and felt comfortable in her expectations until she got to the studio.

“But then when I got there, and I saw how much of a big production it was, it really made me super nervous.”

Rhind had medical work done on her knee shortly before the pitch, so in late May when it was her turn to see the Dragons, Rhind used crutched to walk out onto the floor, where she pitched the business for roughly an hour.

Due to a non-disclosure agreement that Rhind signed beforehand, she is unable to discuss the result of the pitch until after the episode has aired.

Reflecting on her experience, Rhind spoke candidly, offering that there were some areas for improvement in her pitch. Still, overall, she said the experience was worth the stress.

Whether the Dragons made Ovry a deal or not, Rhind was happy for the exposure. The average viewership is more than 525,000 views per episode, she added.

The last remaining concern that Rhind had is not being sure of how the producers edited the show. After an hour-long stint in front of the Dragons, each pitch is trimmed to roughly seven minutes to maintain the momentum of the episode.

Come Jan. 4, Rhind said she’ll likely have a small viewing party with her friends and family (and potentially half a million other people) to see how interested some of Canada’s top businesspeople were in Ovry.

Zach Delaney

About the Author: Zach Delaney

I came to the Revelstoke Review from Ottawa, Ontario, where I earned a Master of Journalism degree from Carleton University.
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