Hamilton entrepreneur snubs 'Dragons'

Entrepreneur gets the nod from all five 'Dragons' on the popular TV show, Dragon's Den, but does he take them up on their offers?

The saying may go ‘beggars can’t be choosers,’ but it isn’t a line Blair Beattie takes much notice of.

The Hamilton native, who appeared on the popular TV show Dragon’s Den last Wednesday, received offers from each of the ‘Dragons’ –  Kevin O’Leary, Arlene Dickinson, Jim Treliving, David Chilton and Bruce Croxon – a rarity in and of itself.

And, he turned each one of them down – an even bigger rarity.

Beattie’s pitch was a line of work pants, Coolworks Workwear, which feature mesh for ventilation. He was asking for $500,000 for a 25 per cent stake.

The owner of Meshwear received a nod from all five dragons, who offered $500,000 for 33 per cent, plus a five per cent royalty until half of the investment was recouped.

Beyond the “bright lights and euphoria” felt on-air, as Beattie described it, the deal just wasn’t good enough. He said it undervalued his company and he didn’t like the 2.5 per cent “breakout fee” – or $12,500 in his case – that would have to paid if he pulled out of a deal following the due diligence process.

So, what now for the Ontario entrepreneur?

Beattie – who says he has received an ‘overwhelming’ response with a ‘tidal wave’ of inquiries since appearing on the show, according to news reports – continues to search for the ‘right’ investor or partner with aspirations of tapping into the U.S. market.

According to Beattie, Meshwear sales are close to hitting the $1 million mark and he's forecasting $1.8 million for 2014. Meanwhile, he has spent $900,000 to secure the rights to the patent from an ex-business partner – a former steelworker – who came up with the idea.

Beattie’s biggest challenge? … generating enough cash flow to produce the inventory necessary to reach his targets.

How would you advise Beattie if he were your client? Tell WP your thoughts in the comment box below.

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