Dragons' Den - Dog Quality Pitches Products for Older Dogs by Ann-Marie Fleming

27 October, 2012


What an interesting and exciting time it has been for Dog Quality. :) Our Dragons' Den pitch went live on Oct 24th, 2012 and is now available on the CBC website, or if you are outside of Canada, you can watch it here. And now that is has been released, I can finally talk openly about the process and what has happened since filming.Dragons' Den - Dog Quality Pitch (David Chilton, Jim Treliving)

To get on the show I first auditioned back in February and 5 weeks later received the call that I was going to film for the show, which I did at the beginning of May. I spoke with the Dragons for about 50 minutes which they cut down to 6 minutes - not an easy task. As you can imagine a lot gets left out with that much editing, but overall I feel they did a good job capturing the essence of the discussion.

Going into this I knew very well that I would be facing, with the exception of David Chilton (Wealthy Barber author), non-dog people. Because of this I knew it would be a challenging experience, but I was ready for it - I believe very strongly in Dog Quality and what we are doing to help older dogs and I would have faced thousands of Dragons to help spread the word.

Overall I think it went well, I was happy with my answers and I wasn't phased by the negativity. I had David that understood and Jim, even though he did not invest, at least could see why people would be interested in senior dog products. And I have to say I love being on TV :) It's very fun and exciting and I welcome any opportunity to tell our story. Dragons' Den Pitch - Products for Older Dogs

Since airing I have had an endless flow of comments from dog parents all over Canada and the U.S. expressing their disappointment in 3 Dragons in particular: Arlene Dickinson, Bruce Croxon and Kevin O'Leary for their comments and lack of compassion. They actually did have some very nice things to say about me that didn't make the cut, but it was clear that they didn't see the importance of putting money into making life easier for older dogs.

Kevin saw value in the business which is something. Also given that he had me in defense mode from the first moment and then for him to be the first to offer a deal, definitely felt like a big win. Arlene and Bruce had some disappointing comments to say the least and in many ways painted what we are doing as something "bad" which is why so many dog parents have been quite expressive in their disagreement and have shown us a ton of support which has been awesome.

Many people have shared with me touching stories of how their dogs have helped them through tough times such as depression, illness and loss of a family member. The point being made is that our dogs mean the world to us and have spent their lives taking care of us, so when they are in need, when they get older, there is no hesitation on our part to do whatever it takes to make their lives easier.

In case you missed it - here is my Dragons' Den pitch:

I am very very grateful for the overwhelming support we have received and for the opportunity to tell our story on National Television because so many dog parents still don't know the amazing options that are available for their senior dogs. I am very happy with the whole experience in terms of the positive impact it is having and I hope one day a pet will touch the lives of Arlene, Bruce and Kevin so they can see how wonderful the experience can be. As for Dog Quality, as you know on the show David offered me a deal which I accepted initially.

A few weeks after the show however I respectively declined. After much deliberation I felt that it was too early for my business, too much equity to give up and too much pressure to take on a never ending royalty. The good news is that David and I are still in communication and he is very open to helping Dog Quality, so we will be meeting over the next few months to discuss.

My hope is that we can find a way to work together in the near future. He is not only a successful businessman, but he loves dogs and truly understands the importance of helping our four-legged family members, so we will see what happens :)

I would like to send a special thanks to the Toronto Humane Society for joining me on stage with 3 amazing senior dogs who truly stole the show. Thanks again to everyone who watched, who commented, and who shared their stories with us. I cannot tell you how motivating it all is. You have given what we do so much meaning and I am truly grateful.

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