Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for September 27, 2012

Yukoner’s venture into Dragon’s Den paid off

It turns out dragons do take a shine to Yukon liquor.

By Ashley Joannou on September 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm


Photo submitted

SHINING IN THE DEN — Karlo Krauzig, proprietor of Yukon Shine distillery, pitches his vodka and gin on an episode of the CBC television show Dragon’s Den. The show aired last night. Photo courtesy of KARLO KRAUZIG

It turns out dragons do take a shine to Yukon liquor.

Yukon Shine proprietor Karlo Krauzig managed to catch the eye of multiple “dragons” when he appeared on Wednesday night’s episode of the popular CBC TV show Dragon’s Den.

Krauzig appeared on the first segment of the show, where businesses make their pitch to wealthy Canadian investors – the “Dragons” – Jim Treliving, Kevin O’Leary, Arlene Dickinson, Bruce Croxon and David Chilton.

Krauzig asked for $300,000 for a 33-per-cent stake in the Yukon Shine distillery, and multiple investors expressed interest in the company’s Vodka and Gin.

On the show, Krauzig accepted an offer from Treliving, getting the $300,000 for half of his company.

“I actually really wanted to get a deal with Jim and Arlene together,” Krauzig said in an interview today.

“But Jim refused; he said if we needed anyone for marketing, we would hire Arlene.”

Unfortunately, after leaving the den, Krauzig’s deal with Treliving fell through.

Krauzig said the Boston Pizza CEO wanted to approach major distributors hoping that they would be interested in selling the product under their umbrella. But that didn’t work out.

Krauzig calls the show “a shotgun approach to investing” where investors get involved in as many projects as they can, and then begin a due diligence process afterwords.

“The vast majority of deals in the den do not get off the ground,” Krauzig said.

But all is not lost.

After the deal with Treliving fell apart, Dickinson said she would still be interested in investing in the business.

Negotiations with Dickinson are now underway, Krauzig said.

In the end, it wasn’t only the dragons who saw value in the product.

Since the show aired last night, Krauzig has 173 unanswered emails in his inbox, from people around the world wanting to know more.

He’s heard from venture capitalists offering their own money as well as international businesses like Delta Airlines.

“It’s the kind of attention we wouldn’t be able to get on our own,” he said.

Though the TV segment was only about 10 minutes long, Krauzig said he spent about an hour pitching his company.

The secret to success in front of the dragons is to have a good product, something that you know is good because it has been praised by a large, unbiased audience, Krauzig said.

“If Kevin O’Leary had tasted the product and spit it out on the stage, we wouldn’t be having this conversation,”

Successful pitchers also need to know the value of their company so they can make a reasonable request.

“You also need to come across as a person they would want to work with. Personality does matter.”

In this case, multiple judges also noted the “cache” that comes with products from the Yukon.

It’s something Krauzig agrees with.

“It’s the biggest reason why I’m doing a distillery here, in one of the most expensive places,” he said. “People are interested in the Yukon, interested in what we have to offer.”

It’s been about five months since the episode was taped.

Krauzig said everything that has happened to him and the company since then has been worth it.

“It was a great experience; I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

CommentsAdd a comment

susie rogan

Sep 27, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Congratulatons Karlo!  You deserve it after your hard work and investment, and for all the challenges of starting any business, let alone a distillery.  All the best.

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