Student Braves the Dragons
Posted: September 26, 2012
Rory McGuire ’13 has come up with a way to dry out wet equipment stored in a hockey bag, and last week he got the chance to pitch his idea to five of Canada’s top entrepreneurs.
It was all part of the kick-off festivities for season seven of the hit CBC TV show, Dragons’ Den, which finances good business ideas with real investment money. The pre-show event included clips of favourite ventures from past seasons, and a marketplace selling products that gained notoriety on the show. Host Dianne Buckner emceed the Sept. 19th event, which was streamed live on the CBC website (Rory's ptich appears from 37:00 to 42:12).
Rory was one of five high school and university inventors invited to face the Dragons before hundreds of fans in the atrium of the CBC building in Toronto. The segment showcased student entrepreneurs, and while their pitches won’t air on TV or receive funding, they did receive real advice from show stars Arlene Dickinson, Jim Treliving, Bruce Croxon, Kevin O'Leary, and newest Dragon, David Chilton.
Rory’s invention, ‘The Breathe,’ is a plastic hockey insert that fits into any size hockey bag and is designed to keep equipment dry. It consists of an 80cm fan that circulates air throughout the bag approximately five times per minute. He has been working on this concept for about a year with his father, Dan, and brother, MacKenzie.
“The experience of pitching to the Dragons was a dream come true,” says Rory, who kept his nerves at bay by using skills developed through participation in the McEwen Leadership Program at SAC. “It allowed me to stay relaxed and collected while pitching my idea in front of a crowd of people,” he says.
For the most part, the Dragons seemed interested. “I’ve never seen something like this before,” commented Arlene. “It’s a good idea but I think the cost will kill you,” added Jim. “You will need to test market it to see how much someone would be willing to spend on it,” advised Kevin, known to be the most ruthless Dragon of the group.
Overall, Rory felt the Dragons’ feedback was useful and says he will continue to work toward securing a patent for his product.
Story by Cindy Veitch