Truro dentist, Dr. Anil Makkar and his business partners with New Age Performance Mouthware, are in the process of finalizing a deal with three members of the CBC reality show Dragons’ Den.
Makkar and company CEO/owner Rob Charlton and co-owner Pete Czerwinski – a Canadian competitive eater and YouTube sensation known as Furious Pete – appeared on the show’s season premiere Thursday night following a taping in Toronto last April.
Not only did they get an offer from one dragon – they had offers from all six.
“I am now a dragon slayer,” Makkar chuckled, during an interview in his office Friday morning before heading off to Halifax for other media engagements.
“Totally shocked,” he said, turning serious about the ultimate outcome that saw he and his partners strike a deal with three of the dragons.
“Unbelievable. We were ready for the objections and that never really happened. So it was disbelief. We were like, wow,” he said. “I think what the even more amazing thing was, our expectation was low in getting a deal, and we walked out with all six dragons fighting over the deal.”
The bidding started after a couple of demonstrations with the mouthpiece when Boston Pizza owner Jim Treliving almost immediately agreed to the trio’s request of a $100,000 investment for a 10-per-cent share of the company. That prompted bidding that saw a $300,000 offer from dragon Michael Wekerle for the same company share, which then prompted another offer from Treliving of $100,000 for only a five per cent company share.
In the end, the partners settled on a deal with dragons Michele Romanow, Arlene Dickinson and Joe Mimran of $100,000 for seven per cent of the company’s royalties over a seven-year period.
“The reason we didn’t go for the $300,000 is because we didn’t want to give the equity away,” Makkar said.
The dragons’ money will be used strictly for marketing purposes, Makkar said, along with the business expertise that each dragon will bring to the table.
And while he certainly anticipates further financial success from a product he has been working on since 2005, Makkar said, his real interest extends beyond monetary results.
“My dream, even since 2005 is to change the way that sports is played and how people work out. The money is never what drove me in the first place,” he said. “I want to walk into a gym one day and see 90 per cent of the people using that product and coming out and saying: ‘if I don’t have this in my mouth I just can’t seem to work out properly.’”
As of next week, the New Age Performance mouthpieces will be available locally at Village Pharmacy in Bible Hill.