My Dragon's Den Experience - Zac Hartley

by Torin Hofmann October 02, 2018

My Dragons Den Experience


Burgundy Oak started as a dream in a Garage.  We wanted to build a barrel empire and started by making product at our parents, selling at farmers markets, and grinding through University.  Since then, we have grown to a full team ready to face our fears on the Dragons Den Stage.  Here is how we did it


Auditions- February 2018


We applied to Dragons Den through the open auditions that were held at Mount Royal University and we showed up dressed in cowboy hats and carrying as much product as we could bring up the stairs.  We figured that the more dramatic we could be and the more attention we could get, the better our shot was at getting on the show.  With that being said, we brought an entire Kegerator filled with Mimosas….


It was hit; we gave our 2-minute pitch on our company and had a drink with the judges at 8:00 am in the morning.  As we left, we had a great sense of optimism hoping that this would turn into our next big break.


The Pitch- April 2018


After 6 agonizing weeks we got the call saying we had been chosen to come to Toronto and pitch to the Dragons.  We needed to get our pitch together, review it with producers, ship our product, and make sure operations were covered back at the shop.


Overall we spent over $5,000 with shipping, flights, and hotels to pitch to the Dragons but the experience of walking down the stairs into the den was one of the coolest business experiences I have ever had. (This part is exactly like what you see on TV)


We practiced our pitch in our Air BnB the night before and the day of, using fake props and pretending to open imaginary liquor cabinets.  When we got into the Den, the entire duration was about 45 minutes but our initial pitch was only about 2 minutes.  After that, the Dragons jumped right into questions, which seemed to never end as each Dragon slowly dissected our business model. 


After each Dragon had a chance to make us sweat, it was decision time. It didn’t start the way we had hoped, but you will have to tune in to see how it ends.


Overall, Dragons Den was an amazing experience that taught us countless lessons, brought us closer as a team, and will hopefully set us up for a successful year to come.


 Zac Hartley


Torin Hofmann
Torin Hofmann


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