A small Canadian company called WhaSUP Paddle Boards from Troy, Ontario tried their luck on CBC's Dragons' Den a little over a year ago. They make customized inflatable Stand Up Paddleboards, and the owners Scott Collier & Sarah Haagsma asked for an investment of $75,000 for 30% of their business. Find out how they did by watching the clip at CBC.ca or by watching this Season 8, Episode 6 of Dragons' Den on the CBC TV app.
We caught up with Scott to ask him how things have gone since being in the Den. Although the deal with Dragon Jim Treliving fell through during due diligence, Scott says they have been trucking along really well on their own. He felt the time spent on Dragons' Den was such a positive experience. The business, which is based on their farm has been growing and they converted part of their barn into a storefront. Boards are being shipped all over the world including the Bahamas, and Cayman Islands.
"The interest in the inflatable market has really grown now that people are becoming more aware of what it is. It's not the old sleeping mattress."
A lot of SUP manufacturers are starting to see the benefits of inflatables and add a model to their lineup. Scott touts WhaSUP's diverse line of models, colours and options since it is their specialty.
This year WhaSUP announced both an 11-foot inflatable kayak and an inflatable swimming dock (The WhaSUP Dock)! Their design looks to be perfect for parents who want to go paddling with their young children, but don't feel comfortable with them on a SUP or trapped beneath a hull of a kayak.
WhaSUP prides themselves in educating you on which model is right for you, and their manufacturing quality vs. off the shelf SUPs that you might find at your local box store.