Local transit bus driver and entrepreneur Gary Gilbert was invited to film a segment of the Dragons’ Den in Toronto last April to pitch his invention, the night beacon.
Every season 250 pitches are filmed, and about 75 of those are actually aired. So Gilbert feels lucky to have made the cut, even though he did not make a deal with the Dragons.
Gilbert said he was pretty happy with his pitch, but the Dragons just didn’t get it. “They could not grasp the concept of being stranded in the middle of nowhere because a bus driver couldn’t see them waiting at a dark bus stop,” Gilbert said. “In fact, I doubt any of the Dragons have ever been on a public bus.”
The segment, which is scheduled to air on CBC TV on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 8 p.m., included a silly skit that was meant to exaggerate the usefulness of the signaling device. Gilbert said although they all had a few good laughs about it, he’s really hoping they did not edit out the more serious and important content.
There are currently about 50 units in place on the Sunshine Coast and “drive bys” have gone from one or two a night to one or two a month.
“We’ve solved a huge problem here, and based on our test market success, we’re ready to introduce this safety product to transit systems globally,” he said.
See more at www.thenightbeacon.com.