On Wednesday March 5th, 2014 our pitch aired on Canada's most-watched unscripted reality show, where entrepreneurs face off against a panel of wealthy Venture Capitalists. Like any business entering the Den, we knew that anything could happen, but we were confident in RentThisLand.com!
Our goal was to convince the Dragons - and Canada - that RentThisLand.com was a game-changer when it comes to farmland rental.
Did we succeed in that goal?...See for yourself!
Despite being freshly launched at the time our pitch was taped (we're talking brand new), the Dragons clearly grasped the gap in this market, and how RentThisLand.com addressed the need.
<FACT: While our pitch aired in March, 2014 - we actually taped the pitch in April, 2013 - almost an entire year beforehand!>
In the Den, we asked the Dragons for a $40,000 investment in exchange for 20% of our business.
As long-time fans of the show, the RentThisLand.com team knew that a fair valuation for our company based on where we sat at that precise moment in time, would be a critical detail if we were going to get the Dragons to bite.
Arlene Dickinson, marketing maven, was the first Dragon to jump on board, and after a brief interruption from Kevin O'Leary (a.k.a. Mr. Wonderful), we finally got to hear what she had to say! She said, "it's a great idea", and offered us exactly what we asked for.
Kevin O'Leary, was concerned about the costs of marketing a website. As such a green company, we had no 'user cost of acquisition' metrics. He said, "I have no idea what you're worth", and took a pass.
Bruce Croxon, internet mogul, was next to put in his offer, again coming in with what we had asked for and stating that his expertise could help us market the website.
David Chilton, publishing powerhouse, who we knew to be a huge advocate of Canadian farmers said, "I love every aspect of my involvement with the farming community. I will give you $60,000 for 20% instead."
Jim Treliving, franchise baron, felt like we already had good offers on the tables, so he took a pass.
Bruce offered a recap and asked Arlene if she was interested in pairing up together. At this stage, David bowed out, saying, "I'd love to be a part of it but I think that Bruce's value add on the digital front with the marketing is way more than the extra $20,000 that I'm adding...and I want you guys to make the right decision as entrepreneurs - so I'm out."
With that said - we shook hands with Bruce and Arlene and our pitch concluded.
<FACT: We actually conversed with the Dragons for nearly 45 minutes, but the pitch you see was distilled into a 7 minute cut. So if you felt like important questions were missing from the dialogue on T.V. you're probably right - but chances are we covered them off in the uncut pitch!>
So what happened after the pitch was taped?
Even though a handshake takes place on television, that doesn't mean an actual deal takes place. Instead, the televised handshake is more like an agreement to take a closer look and see if a real deal makes sense.
Following the show, we entered into a very in-depth and lengthy due diligence process with Bruce Croxon and Arlene Dickinson. This was a very valuable experience. As a result of this process, we finalized a solo deal with Bruce!
Since the show, we've been implementing all kinds of digital strategies, many of which are 'behind-the-scenes', but we're confident that great things are on the horizon for RentThisLand.com!
Do you have questions about our pitch or about RentThisLand.com?
Be sure to send us your feedback!