Infinyte Marine, Kelowna, BC, appeared on an episode of CBC's Dragon's Den seeking investment in its electric boat business. Aired on March 2, Infinyte Marine's President Shane Green and Co-owner Mary Horvatincic brought the brand's i4 model to show to the Dragon's Den investors.
Although just appearing on television this month, the episode was actually recorded in March of 2010.
“We need marketing and we need more tooling to increase production,” said Green during the episode explaining why Infinyte was seeking investors.
Initially, Infinyte Marine sought an investment of $400,000 for a 15 percent stake in the company. However, show Dragon Brett Wilson, Chairman of Prairie Merchant, made a counter offer of $350,000 for 50 percent of the company and a $50,000 operating loan. Dragon, Arlene Dickinson, CEO of Venture Communications said she would join Wilson on the deal.
While Green and Horvatincic seemed eager to make a deal with Dickinson because of her marketing connections, they were unwilling to part with half of their business. After making two counter offers, one for 30 percent of the company for $400,000 and a second for a 40 percent stake for $350,000 and a $100,000 loan, no deal was reached.
Although no deal was made, several of the show's stars seemed impressed with Infinyte's product.
Brett Wilson asked who would buy the boat. “Rental companies are a big one as well as young families,” responded Green.
Jim Treliving, Chairman of Boston Pizza, wanted to know how much it would cost to operate the i4 in a month. Green said that it would only cost approximately $0.70 to recharge the boat's batteries if they were fully drained. Treliving seemed impressed with the idea that you could fish all day in one of Infinyte's boats for very little cost.
On the show, Green tells the Dragons that Infinyte Marine currently has 36 boats in various stages of production and 90 scheduled orders. He anticipated selling 200 models throughout the rest of the year and reported that Infinyte has 17 dealers in seven different countries. Since the episode was filmed, Infinyte has formed an manufacturing agreement with fellow Kelowna-based boat manufacturer Campion Marine and has grown its dealer base to close to 30 dealers around the world.
At the end of the show Wilson admired how Green had negotiated and suggested that Infinyte Marine book an appointment to return to the show next year. “You're too early to give us something to sink our teeth into,” he added.
“I think the dragon's missed the boat on this one, and we'll be back next year with more sales,” said Green in the episode's final interview. However, in a recent interview Horvatincic says Infinyte has no current plans to return to the show “because we've overcome the obstacles we faced as a startup company.”
To view the episode click here