A Victoria man is riding high after a big win on CBC Television’s Dragons’ Den.
Bruce Dean hand built a custom e-bike for his own mobility. Now, with potential investment coming courtesy of “dragon” Michael Wekerle, he’s hoping to turn his chopper-styled bikes into a business, that will lift he and his daughter off of reliance on disability payments, and put them on a better road.
Dean’s appearance on the program was taped last June, but just aired on Wednesday. In it, Wekerle offered Dean a $20,000 investment for 20 per cent of his business.
Since the show aired, Dean says the response since has been overwhelming, with people calling or contacting him online looking to order an e-chopper of their own.
“I’ve got a waitlist now that I have to go through, so that’s all looking promising,” he said.
Dean never expected his ride to take him into the world of business. He built the original bike for himself as a way of getting around after a devastating knee injury. But the chopper-like bike he built turned heads.
Most of the Dragons were concerned Dean lacked a fully fleshed out business plan. Dean says since the show was taped he has been working at addressing that.
He’s securing suppliers for parts, but still working on his own from his apartment.
And he’s still finalizing Wekerle’s investment, so far there’s been no contract or cheque. But whether that comes through or not, Dean hopes to complete his first four orders this summer.
And after 14 years making ends barely meet on disability payments, turning the vehicle he built to get around into the ride to better future for himself and his daughter.
“It would be life changing for the both of us,” he said.