Dragons’ Den on CBC will welcome DLC’s Jay Seabrook and Kevin Cochran this Sunday, pitching their already successful EnRICHed Academy tutorial package.
“Agents are (concerned) about cutting rates and commissions,” says Cochran. “We have chosen to instead add more value, to show we are making an impact on a family’s life through their children – teaching them about how to better handle their money. When you do that, the proof is in the results – you have earned that respect.”
In taking their EnRICHed Academy to the venture capitalists of the Dragon’s Den last April, the two hoped to earn $40,000 in backing to grow retail horizons for the DVD educational package. Cochran and Seabrook have signed confidentiality agreements preventing them from even hinting about the outcome of their appearance, airing Sunday.
EnRICHed Academy is a program designed to teach teens and young adults how to earn, save and invest their money through an entertaining DVD format.
The DVD package has been presented over the last several years, through hundreds of live speaking events at schools all across North America.
“When we looked at the credit crisis, we thought it was the right timing for this product,” says Cochran. “When we launched it a year ago, we sold over 1,300 boxes in a week.”
To date more than 6,000 packages have been sold.
The EnRICHED Academy DVD package (including instructional materials) costs about $150, with both Gary Mauris and Chris Kayat partners in the project.
“Having Dominion Lending Centres associated with us, and our track record in sales, showed the Dragons we are not fly-by-night salesmen,” Cochran says. “And with the DLC brand, we know how to manage our celebrity.”
The premise of Dragons’ Den has aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business concepts and products to a panel of Canadian business moguls who have the cash and the know-how make it happen. If the panel believes the product or concept has investment potential, they win.
But there are hurdles to cross before making a pitch. The show’s producers hold some 4,000 auditions across Canada for the limited number of available spots on the show.
“We auditioned in Collingwood, then got together afterwards and decided to fly out to Vancouver to audition again,” said Cochran. “Kevin O’Leary looked at us and said, ‘What are you doing back?’ We told him we just wanted to spend another five minutes with them, to show how serious we were.”
Statistics show that six out of 10 North Americans live paycheque to paycheque, with total credit card charges having gone from $69 billion to over $1.7 trillion; an almost 2,600 per cent increase since 1989.
The need for better personal fiscal education is also revealed in the annual savings rates, which went from over 12 per cent of income in the early 1990s to today’s less than 2 per cent, with a doubling of household debt in less than half that time.