An outstanding moment: our passage at Dragons’ den (the French version)

*Picture by Yannick Pépin

Yes! Vita Nutrition was invited at the French version of the TV show Dragons’ den.

If you’ve been following us for some time now, you might be aware of this moment in our young history. Being invited at this CBC TV show is a dream come true for any startup. Now, it’s been a few months since we were broadcasted, but we thought it would be important to share our experience with you.

How did we get there?

We were already fans of the TV show “Dans l’oeil du dragon” (that’s the French version of Dragons’ den) because of all the inspiring moments that the participants share on screen. Some of them started from scratch, others were struggling between family and entrepreneurship, others dream really big. One thing is common to all of these participants : they’re all passionate and wish to make a better world with their products or services.

When I saw that auditions were opened for a new season, I figured that we had the ideal profile to be on the show! I told myself that an enterprise that places health and wellbeing at the top of its values and that tries to raise the awareness of the population to the health of their pets would be of interest for them. Being responsible for all communications at Vita Nutrition, I sent our application to the broadcaster. At that time, I didn’t have any particular goal, but I knew that to make it on air would be a great visibility for our business. I really did it on a whim and hoped for the best.

After a good first audition in front of a team of researchers we waited for the final decision. We did have a good feeling because our business story was different than that of the many participants we had seen in previous seasons. And the good news came! We were selected for the recording of the show.

Now, we had to get ready for THE presentation.

Living the experience

“D” day was finally here. For obvious reasons, we were all a little nervous. We had no idea how the dragons would react to our products. Whether we liked it or not, they were going to judge our business and, in a certain way, ourselves. At that point, you have to accept it since there is no turning back. Having no control on that, it did add to our initial stage fright.

However, we were more than relieved with their warm and welcoming attitude. They did defy us on our believes, but they showed a great amount of respect.

All in all, the process took almost six months from our application to the recording of the show in March. Just a few days before the Country going into lock down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We greatly enjoyed the experience. It made us grow as entrepreneurs and we discovered inspiring mentors, but also many other emerging businesses that had the same dream we had.

An offer?

Drum rolls…

YES! We did get an offer with the invited dragon: M. Richard Voyer, vice-president at Soprema and president of the North American division. 100 000$ for 10% of our shares. We won the jackpot since our dragon, as we like to call him, is a true gentleman and a fabulous mentor with whom we still collaborate to this day.

Vita’s future intertwines with the Dragons

Since our presence at Dragons’ den, business is picking up. Growth is present and we have great support from the animal friendly community. More and more people know us and our values and this in turn brings more visibility and credibility. Since March 2020, we added many new products to our catalog in order to answer our clients’ needs. And we still have many ideas that we want to develop in the following months.

This experience has taught us that it’s important to have faith in our believes and that we are well equipped to part between the good and the bad. When you’re in business, each and every one of us has his own view and definition of success. Advices are always welcomed, but it’s up to us to adapt them to our reality.

If you didn’t see the broadcast of our presence at Dragons’ den and should you wish to see it (a warning though, it’s all in French), you can click here.

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Orthophoniste de profession, Marie-Philippe est l’une des cofondatrices de Vita DogTeam et de Vita Nutrition Animale. Partageant son quotidien avec son copain Michaël, Sa fille Maxime et ses 5 chiens, Marie-Philippe est passionnée par tout ce qui touche le monde canin, notamment la psychologie canine et l’alimentation naturelle.